The Asian Art Market keep on with its healthy restless growth, especially if concerning Contemporary Art Market. But to fuel it there’s China is no more the unique player, but there are also some new contries as Japan, Korea and Taiwan, which are assuming increasing importance in international auction and overall market.

This steady growth trend has been just confirmed by a report just released by Sotheby’s on “Contemporary Art in Asia”: for the international auction house just last Spring Contemporary Art Sale value in  Hong Kong  around HK$565,8/ US$ 72.5 millions , +1.4% confronting it to major competitor Christie’s and  Phillips, confirming itself as the market leader in Asia.

Spring Contemporary Art Sales 2018 in Hong Kong
Spring Contemporary Art Sales 2018 in Hong Kong

We have just had the occasion to noticed this phenomenon in last London sales (especially for  Impressionist & Modern), where was so clear from some acquisition of major lots on sale, how is still high the Asians appetite for Western art great master. From what reported  Artnet News, some of the most imports works emend up in Asian buyers (or representative) hands: among those pieces, at  Christie’s there was a bronze Rodin’s Baiser, which sold to a client of Christie’s vice president, director of Impressionist & Modern art for Asia, Elaine Holt, for £12.6 million ($16.6 million), well above its high estimate of £7 million, against competition from Oslo-based dealer Ben Frija. The same destination took also a delicious watercolors by SchieleKniendes Mädchen, sich den Rock…, of a kneeling woman drew two Asian phone bidders into conflict until it ultimately sold to a Taiwanese representative of Christie’s for £1.56 million ($2 million), more than double its high estimate, when  the American seller once had paid £65,000 ($85,500) for it in 1985.

Egon Schiele (1890-1918)
Kniendes Mädchen, sich den Rock…
Price realised GBP 1,568,750

Today, however, asso the request for Western Contemporary art is higher and higher, as show us  Sotheby’s values, with a total sale of HK$204.9/ US$26.3 millions its last auction,the highest amount of Western Art sold in Asia, covering more than half of the market c (52% against 36% from Christie’s and  12% by Phillips).

Chinese collector has long preferred  their own national artists, expecially for contemporary art. These results, however, confine how Chinese and overall asian collectors  are becoming more and more educated, informed and sophisticated,and they have starting to look at interest to our best European and American postwar artists, as well as obviously the art of our great past. 

This season, for instance, a postwar Italian master as Lucio Fontana found  a full success in its first debut in Asia with Concetto spaziale- Attese from 1965, sold for HK 28.8 millions/US $3.7 millions (+ 1.9 its estimates ). 

Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale, Attese, 1965. Estimate HK$ 15,000,000-24,000,000, Sold for HK 28.8 millions

Regarding most required asian artist, the report points out the stable growth of GUTAI artists, which saw this year a full 100% sold , with most of works doubling its their esteem. Sotheby’s currently holds world records for all major Gutai artists, as Tanaka Atsuko, Motonaga Sadamasa, Umae Chiyu and increasing interesting Shiraga Kazoo and Shozo Shimamoto. Umae Chiyu, for instance, in last spring sales in Hong Kong, has been sold HK $9.1 millions/ USA $1.2 millions, doubled its previous record.

Another very interesting artist,  now an international star Yayoi Kusama, whose Sotheby’s confirmed its growing market,  100% sold in 2018 sold, most works  for more than double the pre-sale estimates. Sotheby’s HK holds 4 of  10 top lots of the artist

Yayoi Kusama, Red-Nets No2.A.3 – sold by Sotheby’s HK for HK 35.6 Millions /US $4.5 millions, one of artist 10 top records

Despite this more and more sophisticated interest by Chinese collectors has expanded, the Chinese art market keep on being very strong and on growth with stellar results as  Sotheby’s Hong Kong which totaled HK$83.8/ US$ 10.7 millions,  the strongest day sale in history – HK$138.3/ US$ 17.7 million, more than doubling estimates with 95% sell-through rate.

In conclusion, we really advise you to keep an eye, as also we as Artvalor we are doing,toward the Eastern horizon, as Asia can serve you great surprise.. and great deals.


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