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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Bonhams inaugural Contemporary art sale in Hong Kong resultss

In a standing room only sale, frenzied bidding activity occurred within the auction room, by telephone and online. Bonhams Contemporary Art Department’s first dedicated sale in Hong Kong reached the superb total today of 90.6 million HKD/ 11.6 million USD, more than doubling the pre-sale estimate of 26.5 – 37.4 million HKD/ 3.4 – 4.8 million USD.

The sale was “Voyages of Discovery,” a unique single owner collection featuring 15 major works by Chu Teh-Chun and Zao Wou-Ki alongside 12 exceptionally rare Imperial Chinese objects. Highlights of the sale included an oil painting by Chu Teh-Chun, Le Odeur du Ciel No.1, 1982, which was sold for 9.62 million HKD/1.2 million USD, and a cloisonné enamel incense burner from the Qianlong period, Qing Dynasty, one of just two known in the world, which was sold to a phone bidder for 12.9 million HKD/ 1.66 million USD.

The paintings and works on paper by Zao Wou-Ki and Chu Teh-Chun sold as part of the collection came to a total of 63.4 million HKD/ 8.17 million USD. They portray a cross-section of the artists’ development through the decades, and illustrate the evolution of their unique styles from the 1960s through to 2006. Born in China and based in Paris for the past five decades, both artists present an important bridge between the traditional calligraphy and painting esthetics of China and the most innovative art movements of Twentieth Century Europe. Important works from both artists smashed their high estimates, including Zao Wou-Ki’s La Mer, 2004, which sold for 8.18 million HKD/over 1 million USD, Chu The-Chun’s Verte Nature, 2005-6, which sold for 7.2 million HKD/ 927,416 USD and Chu The-Chun’s Formes Illuminees, 2006, which sold for 5.3 million HKD/ 682,680 USD.

Alongside the Contemporary works one of the star lots of the Imperial Chinese objects was an exceptional copper-red ‘lotus’ bowl, Hongwu period, Ming Dynasty, which sold for 5.4 million HKD/ 695,562 USD, trebling its high pre-sale estimate of 1.8 million HKD/ 231,854 USD.

Closing the sale was Chu Teh-Chun’s Les Feux du Jour Finissant, 2006 which sold for 7.82 million HKD/ 1 million USD, further sealing this inaugural sale for Bonhams Contemporary in Asia as a great success.

Commenting on the Collection and the excellent results achieved, Anthony McNerney, International Head of the International Bonhams Contemporary Art Department, said: “We are thrilled by the exceptional performance of the inaugural sale in Asia of our International Contemporary Art Department. We toured these works around the globe before this sale and we had outstanding interest from an international group of collectors, which came to fruition in a fantastic sale. It was a delight to work with such an exquisite and discerning European collection. We look forward to making the new Contemporary Art Department a success around the world.”