2012 holds a lot of promise for the art collector’s market, as vintage art pieces seems to be a newly found gold for collectors and investors alike. We showed you some examples in our listing of the notable art auctions for the year, and as the news goes, some of the art pieces have indeed changed hands for ultra-premium prices. At the recent Hong Kong Contemporary Asian Art 2012 event, several paintings and art pieces exchanged hands including the Golden Screens by Qi Baishi, and Zhang Xiaogang's Bloodline Big Family No.2, apart from Zao Wau-ki’s ‘untitled’ painting and the Song Era, which fetched much more than what was being estimated. On an average, they bought in 1.5 to 2 times the price for which they were estimated to be sold for, pointing to the high interest within the niche market.
Though based in Hong Kong, Qi Baishi gained much of his fame in Japan, especially for his work on the Golden Screens. The art piece dedicated to the displaying of the Chinese landscape on the country side and the plants around those parts, managed to garner enough interest to get a winning bid of $9 million. The officials at the event described the sale as being aggressive, between the handful of bidders who were vouching to get hold of them. In fact, this came out on top of the total sales of the event, amounting to $60 million in all.
Zhang Xiaogang’s masterpiece, ‘Bloodline: Big Family No. 2, also managed to sell for a hefty price. The winning bid turned out to be $6.71 million, where as the pre-event estimate was between $3.2- 4.5 million only. The painting which displays the artist’s favorite theme, of family and bloodlines has always been known to generate considerable interest in the art world, ever since it created in 1993. The art work showed a rural Chinese family of 3 people including a child.
When we first took at the washing bowl, we were left wondering how much it could really fetch, and were taken by surprise in the end. This 900-year old bowl with its origins in the Ru Kilns, was used to clean calligraphy brushes during its earliest days. It is also known to be extremely rare, and one of the 80 such art pieces in existence in today’s world, which shot its price up. In the end, the winning bid of $26.7 million turned to be more than double of its pre-event estimate.
One of the most important works, was the artist Zao Wou-Ki’s ‘untitled’ painting, often referred to by the date of ’25.06.86’. Fetching $3.2 million at the auction, the abstract art based work always generated interest, for not having a title and the use of abstract colors, a signature of Zao.