BANKSY (UK, B. 1974), This is a Pipe, paint, vintage frame and reclaimed metal artwork: 69 x 80 x 29 cm. (27 1/8 x 34 5/8 x 11 3/8 in.) framed: 87.6 x 99 cm. (34 1/2 x 39 in.) Executed in 2011, HK$2,800,000-3,800,000 / US$360,000-490,000 (find details on christies.com/firstopen)
YAYOI KUSAMA (JAPAN, B. 1929), Hat, acrylic on canvas, 45.5 x 53 cm. (17 7/8 x 20 7/8 in.), Painted in 1981, HK$1,600,000-2,200,000 / US$210,000-280,000 (find details on christies.com/firstopen)
RICHARD LIN (LIN SHOW YU, UK TAIWAN, 1933-2011), Untitled, oil on paper, 76 x 56 cm. (29 7/8 x 22 in.), Painted in 1958, HK$250,000-400,000 / US$33,000-51,000 (find details on christies.com/firstopen)
FOUJITA (LEONARD TSUGUHARU, FRANCE/JAPAN, 1886-1968), Fille, oil on canvas, 33.5 x 24.5 cm. (13 1/8 x 9 5/8 in.), Painted in 1925, HK$700,000-900,000 / US$90,000-120,000 (find details on christies.com/firstopen)
KAWS (USA, B. 1974), Companions, fiber-reinforced plastic sculpture, a set of two works, each: 125 × 50 × 33 cm. (49 1/4 ×19 3/4 ×13 in.) (2), Executed in 2007; & 2009, each from an edition of 100, HK$500,000-700,000 / US$65,000-90,000 (find details on christies.com/firstopen)
Richard Lin, Bansky and TsuguharuFoujita are some of the highlights at Christie’s FIRST OPEN auction in Hong Kong
Text: CoBo Editorial Force
Images: Courtesy of Christie’s
In 1929, the surrealist painter Rene Magritte drew a pipe and wrote the words, ‘Ceci n’est pas une pipe”, beneath.
82 years later, in 2011, Banksy made This is a Pipe, an installation that features a three-dimensional plumping pipe, subverting Magritte’s dealignment of objects with words and images, while also referencing Marcel Duchamp’s ready-mades.
“Banksy plays around with art history, but This is a Pipe also speaks to his street art sensibilities,” says Cindy Lim, Co-curator of FIRST OPEN│Hong Kong, Christie’s.
This is a pipe, and more will be going under the hammer at Christie’s FIRST OPEN sale on March 29.
Featuring a good mix of post-war and 20th century Asian art, as well as Asian contemporary art, the auction targets first-time buyers, as well as seasoned collectors looking to add interesting pieces to their collection. Sale highlights include Richard Lin’s Untitled, Tsuguharu Foujita’s Fille, KAWS’ Companions, Yayoi Kusama’s Hat, both the painting and bronze sculpture, and Liu Wei’s Baby.
We talk to Lim, co-curator of the sale.
What can we expect from First Open 2019?
Cindy Lim (CL): It’s happening at a very busy period for art in Hong Kong. We have a good mix of post-war and 20th century Asian art, as well as Asian contemporary art.
What is the clientele for First Open?
CL: It’s a young but also refreshing sale, so we’re targeting emerging collectors looking to build their first collection, and seasoned collectors. Collectors from all over the world will be flying in for Art Basel so we’d have a pretty global crowd.
Richard Lin is obviously an immensely popular name on the auction circuit right now. Why do you think that is –and what works are you presenting at First Open?
CL: His works are quite rare to come by, especially the earlier pieces. When people think of Richard Lin, his white-on-white painting usually comes to mind, but we’re offering some of his earlier works. We have six lots, covering the cool abstraction works during his important transitional period starting from 1958 to 1960, pencil drawings which illustrates his geometric aesthetics. We have a set of 4-panel print which really speaks to the way he conceptualizes his abstract paintings. I think it’s going to be quite a holistic curation.
Tsuguharu Foujita is another interesting figure. He was immensely popular in Paris during the 1920s through 40s, but disappeared from the spotlight after his death in the 50s. Last year, the art world celebrated the 100thanniversary of his birth with a series of shows across the globe. Why is Foujita popular again?
CL: As with any market, trends come and go. But Foujita remains an incredibly important artist. For First Open, we’re showing three of his works from the 20s through the 40s. A 1928 painting (Nude with Yellow Shoe) portrays a reclining nude. It’s very classic Foujita.
He used a special brush, didn’t he?
CL: Yes, he was using tools that were more commonly used in traditional Japanese art. He used very fine brushes to outline the eyebrows and eyelashes. This east-meets-west aesthetic established him as an avant-garde painter during the early 20th century.
We’re also seeing a rise in popularity of street art. Aside from Banksy’s This is a Pipe, what are some other highlights?
CL: We have a range of sculptures, unique paintings and limited edition prints from KAWS. Highlights include Companions, highly sought after by collectors, and Untitled, an original painting. Yayoi Kusama is of course, eternally popular. We’re offering a polka dot hat painting from 1981, and a polka dot bronze sculpture hat from 1988. In the 1960s, Kusama wore polka-dots outfits and a hat, or kimono with umbrella, to carry out performance art on the streets of New York and other outdoor venues. She is not a street artist as such, yet we hope to pay tribute to her early performances on the streets.
CHRISTIE’S FIRST OPEN | Hong Kong
The James Christie Room
22/F Alexandra House
18 Chater Road, Central