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    Christie's $108.3 Million Hong Kong Sale Quadruples Estimate

    Date: 25 Nov 2007 | | Views: 3675

    Source: Bloomberg (www.bloomberg.com), by Linda Sandler

    Christie's International quadrupled its top sale target at a Hong Kong auction today and set a record for Chinese contemporary art.

    The world's largest auction house took in HK$842 million ($108.3 million) on the first day of a five-day sale marathon, compared with a top estimate of HK$195.8 million, according to a draft release. A set of 14 abstract images by Cai Guo-qiang sold for HK$74.2 million, making him the auction world's most expensive Chinese contemporary artist.

    Christie's results show the market for Asian art is stronger than for Western works. In New York this month, three out of four auctions of Impressionist and contemporary art were near their low estimates.

    "There's been no sign in Asia of any effect from the financial markets,'' which have been volatile, said Jonathan Stone, Christie's international business director for Asian art.

    Cai Guo-qiang's abstract pictures, commissioned for the Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation, went to an anonymous buyer at Christie's, said spokesman Toby Usnik. The works, done with gunpowder and ink, were "conceived as a single artwork,'' Usnik said in a telephone interview. The artist was born in 1957.

    The previous record for Chinese contemporary art was struck in April at Sotheby's, when Xu Beihong's "Put Down Your Whip'' took HK$72 million, Christie's said.

    Last month in London, Yue Minjun's "Execution'' painting brought in 2.9 million pounds ($5.9 million).


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