Sotheby's taps into Chinese art market
Saturday 03 September 2011
Sotheby's said Thursday it hopes a sale of Chinese paintings in Hong Kong will fetch $26 million, as the auction house taps into a growing enthusiasm for art among wealthy Chinese collectors.
The auction giant said over 360 works will go under the hammer in the Fine Chinese Paintings sale on October 4, which will feature works by masters including Zhang Daqian and Fu Baoshi.
"We are having one of the biggest sales this year because Chinese paintings have been increasingly popular in recent years," Carmen Ip, a specialist in Sotheby's Chinese paintings department, told a news conference.
"More and more Chinese are appreciating Chinese art. In the past two years, mainland Chinese have become richer and wealthier and more likely to spend.
"Their taste is getting more sophisticated. They know what's good and what's not - they can differentiate."
Fu's "Pavilion in the Solitude of the Mountains" is expected to fetch at least HK$12 million ($1.54 million) while Zhang's "Morning Mist in Spring" has a guide price of at least HK$5.5 million.
Hong Kong has emerged as the world's third-largest auction centre after New York and London, thanks in large part to China's rapidly growing number of millionaires.
Mainland Chinese regularly snap up the top lots at auctions of art, jewellery and wine and Hong Kong has positioned itself as the gateway to China's vast market.
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