As Sotheby’s first Contemporary Curated: Asia sale comes to a close, the 98-lot online day sale curated by Taiwanese Mandopop Jay Chou brings in nearly HK$48 million.
TEXT: CoBo News
IMAGES: Courtesy of Sotheby’s
Following last Friday night’s JAY CHOU x SOTHEBY’S Evening Sale at Sotheby’s Hong Kong that brought in a total of HK$846 million with premium, the accompanying day sale, an online auction offering 98 lots and running from 10 to 22 June, raked in HK$47,717,580.
This was no ordinary sale. It was part of the traditional auction house’s major contemporary art auction series Contemporary Curated, with its inaugural Asia edition curated by Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou, bringing together the worlds of fine art and entertainment.
With generous support from Adrian Cheng’s K11 Group, the first edition of this new Contemporary Curated: Asia auction series also involved an immersive auction preview that ran from 12 to 18 June 2021 at K11 ATELIER in Hong Kong.
In addition to sale proceeds from the costumes worn by the Mando-pop star raising HK$2.6 million for charity, the headliner and top lot of the Evening Sale was Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled (1985), sold at HK$250,000,000 excluding premium, just short of its HK$255,000,000 pre-sale low estimate, to a phone bidder with Nicholas Chow, Sotheby’s Asia chairman.
However, the artwork that sold at the highest value in the Day Sale online auction was a surprising one. Proving the accelerating demand for young artists amongst collectors in Asia, Japanese artist Ayako Rokkaku’s Untitled (2016) brought in the highest online bid at HK$4,773,000, completely defying pre-sale estimates of HK$500,000 – HK$700,000.
The kaleidoscopic melding of shapes, colours, tiny animation-like figures are customary of Rokkaku’s acrylic paintings. In fact, the 39-year-old artist has been on a roll of late, with a similar work hammering at HK$1,071,000, well above estimates, last December at Phillips 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in Hong Kong.
The second highest bid in JAY CHOU x SOTHEBY’S online auction predictably went to art world household name, contemporary artist KAWS for his work Untitled (MBFR7) (2015). One of his classic acrylic works with trademark bold and vividly dark strokes sprawled across the canvas, the painting sold for HK$3,780,000, slightly above the low estimate of HK$3,000,000.
Another artist who did relatively well in the day sale was auction favourite Yoshitomo Nara. His resplendently quixotic painting Homesick (1989) sold for HK$2,520,000, while other works by the artist such as Long Hair Singer (1997) and UKIYO (1999) sold for HK$1,008,000 and HK$1,512,000 respectively. Long Hair Singer, featuring the artist’s iconic sweet yet seemingly judgmental small girl caricature, standing on a larger-than-life stool playing a guitar against a messy dark blue backdrop, exceeded estimates while the final bids of the other two works hovered around pre-sale estimates.
While sales outcome was hardly surprising, the appetite for online bidding and online auctions does not seem to have abated, with only a few lots unsold. One might say the successful day sale of JAY CHOU x SOTHEBY’S, in addition to the buzzworthy Evening Sale that was covered by media globally, indicates the cutting-edge taste and expansive artistic vision of the King of Mando-pop, sealing his standing as an international art collector to watch.
*Unless otherwise stated, all prices listed include buyer’s premium