If, at the end of the year, we would've wanted to talk about successful auctions in 2015, then Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art Auction at Sotheby's Beijing probably wouldn't have come in mind. In fact, we could characterize it as a perfect sample of an average auction. Just above 70 percent of lots were sold, most of them changed hands in range of estimated values, even the sum of hammer prices was just in the middle, when we look at sums of low and high estimates. Zao Wou-Ki's 15.2.93 was, by far, the most expensive lot, as it was sold for almost three times of second-placed lot's hammer price (Liu Wei's Landscape, $564,634).
This painting of Zao Wou-Ki was made when the artist was in his seventies, and it is considered that, with this artwork, he managed to surpass everything he had done up to that point. As Zao Wou-Ki grew older, his paintings became more and more elegant, as he, in his own words, wanted to use color "in a really simplified way". Painting 15.2.93, he chose five main blocks of color - purple, yellow, blue, pink, and indigo-black, which gave the painting a vast luminescence.
Sixty-two lots out of total 85 were sold at Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art auction at Sotheby's Beijing, which was good for modest 72.9 percent. Total of $5.53 million was gathered for this 62 sold lots, and their value prior to the auction was estimated at $4,67 - $6,91, so, these $5.53 million were right in the middle of range of total estimated value. And so was the vast majority of sold lots - 48 of them, or 77.4 percent, went for a price that was in range of estimated values. Twelve lots were sold over high estimate (19.4 percent), and just two lots changed owners for a price that was under low estiamte (3.2 percent). Zao Wou-Ki's painting had the highest hammer price with $1.48 million, and the average hammer price for the auction was $89,251.
The most successful lot of the sale, considering hammer price/high estimate ratio, was Liu Kuo-Sung's Cascade, that had +125 percent difference. Wang Guanjun's The Sentiment Series: Green Willow had +110 percent, Walasse Ting's Untitled had +108 and Liu Xiaodong's True Love had +80 percent difference between hammer price and high estimate. Only two lots that sold under low estimate were Miao Xiaochun's H2O The Fountain Of Youth - Front View (Triptych) (-10 percent difference between hammer price and low estimate) and Wei Jia's Saleman's Journey I (-8.3 percent).