Asian Art Market Still Has Bounce Left In Its Step
Racking up a total of US44.7 million in a “dynamic and diverse series of sales” over the course of four days, Christie’s New York Asian Art Week showcased a bumper crop of some of the rarest and most valuable works of Asian art seen at recent auctions. Top lots included an 18th-century Joseon Dynasty blue and white dragon jar (which ultimately sold for US$3.2 million), a Thangka of the Green Tara, which achieved a world auction record for a Tibetan painting (US$1.8 million), and a 12th-10th-century B.C. archaic bronze, Zun (US$1.4 million).
While slower economic growth in China this year has some observers on the edge of their seats, anticipating a curbed appetite on behalf of collectors, Christie’s autumn haul and the success of Sotheby’s Spring Auction series in Hong Kong proves that the Asian art market still has a bounce in its step. As Jing Daily reported recently, François Curiel, president of Christie’s Asia, told the New York Times this summer that the comparatively lackluster performance of the Asian art market in the first half of 2012 vis-a-vis the US and Europe, indicates that Chinese collectors haven’t stopped buying art and antiques. Rather, they’re simply looking further afield for quality artwork and antiques as a growing number of collectors hang on to the top-quality works they’ve accumulated over the past several years.
That said, we’re looking forward to the Sotheby’s HK Contemporary Asian Art auction on October 7th — which boasts a lineup of increasingly hard-to-find works by blue-chip, historical artists — to see whether the momentum built up in New York influences sales in Hong Kong.