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Sotheby's - Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art Auction Analysis

  • Sotheby's Beijing
  • Sotheby's Beijing
June 4, 2015

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).

The Story About Artwork – Zao Wou-Ki’s 15.2.93 (1993)

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.

  • Sotheby's Beijing

Sotheby's - Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art Auction in Details

Here you can find the summary of Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art auction at Sotheby’s Beijing, as well as detailed information on every lot auctioned at Sotheby’s.

Total number of lots:85
Number of sold lots:62
Sold lots [%]:72.9
Total [$]:5,533,573
Number of sold lots over high estimate:12
Over high estimate (Total) [%]:14.1
Over high estimate (Sold) [%]:19.4
Number of sold lots in range of estimated values:48
In range of estimated values (Sold) [%]:77.4
Number of sold lots under low estimate:2
Under low estimate (Sold) [%]:3.2
Results were under estimate spread of [%]:31.8
Max Hammer [$]:1,484,181
Average Hammer [$]:89,251
Median Hammer [$]:29,038
Median Hammer Average Hammer Difference [%]:-67.5
Lot No.Artist NameArtwork NameLow Estimate $High Estimate $Hammer Price $Hammer High Estimate Difference [%]Hammer Low Estimate Difference [%]
1Wang GuangleCoffin Paint Series 07103048,39764,53056,463-12.516.7
2Yuan YuanFlow III64,53096,794132,28636.7105
3Yuan YuanMemorizing Portal9,67912,90610,002-22.53.3
4Chi QunNo Colour No. 89,67912,90617,74637.583.3
5Qiu XiaofeiPhoto Studio & Sitting Room (Two Works)16,13224,19929,0382080
6Song KunOctopus Woman12,90619,35916,132-16.725
7Ouyang ChunThe Scream40,33156,46356,463040
8Wei JiaSaleman'S Journey I96,794129,05988,728-31.3-8.3
9Duan JianweiThe Kid45,17156,46345,171-200
10Qiu JiongjiongMid-Autumn14,51922,58514,842-34.32.2
11Li DafangLittle Man16,13224,199Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
12Zhao BoWilderness At Night No.216,13224,19916,132-33.30
13Lin JingjingMy Promise For Your Happiness No. 1711,29314,51912,099-16.77.1
14Miao XiaochunH2O The Fountain Of Youth - Front View (Triptych)8,06611,2937,260-35.7-10
15Liang QuanLandscape Series (Untitled)29,03835,49129,038-18.20
16Liang QuanUntitled8,06612,9068,066-37.50
17Qin AiInvitation Ii24,19932,26545,1714086.7
18Jiang Ji'AnScroll40,33156,46383,88848.6108
19Xu LeiEvoking The Past241,986290,383274,251-5.613.3
20Peng WeiRobe Series: Dragon32,26548,39735,491-26.710
21He XiAquarium On The Shore32,26540,33132,265-200
22Xiao XuWandering Stag12,90619,35917,746-8.337.5
23Zeng JianyongCaptain8,06612,9068,389-354
24Wei QingjiAttributes Of Daily Life No. 1612,90619,35912,906-33.30
25T'Ang Haywen (Zeng Haiwen)Untitled (Diptych)24,19940,33125,812-366.7
26Liu Kuo-Sung (Liu Guosong)Cascade25,81232,26572,596125181.2
27Liu Kuo-Sung (Liu Guosong)Sounds Of Nature64,53096,79496,794050
28Zao Wou-Ki (Zhao Wuji)15.2.931,451,9162,419,8601,484,181-38.72.2
29Zhong RuqianSounds Of Loneliness: Imperial Voices14,51919,35914,519-250
30Walasse Ting (Ding Xiongquan)Untitled24,19940,33183,888108246.7
32Chen WenjiBrimful96,794129,059161,3242566.7
33Liu WeiLandscape564,634725,958564,634-22.20
34Cai Guo-QiangWolves Of The Dark Night: Drawing Experiment For Deutsche Guggenheim129,059193,589132,286-31.72.5
35Ye YongqingNine Birdcages In The Winter193,589290,383193,589-33.30
36Liu XiaodongTrue Love161,324241,986435,57580170
37Wang XingweiEight Women'S Suicide In A River403,310564,634419,442-25.74
38Wang XingweiUntitled (Sailor In A Pond)209,721322,648209,721-350
39Shen JiaweiTasting Snow On The Wanda Mountains403,310564,634Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
40Ai XuanTibetan Girl25,81232,26530,652-518.8
41Zhang LiAi Ni Girl With Headdress35,49148,397Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
42Li ShanFlower & Untitled (Two Works)8,06616,1328,066-500
43Ma KeluSan Li River6,4539,6796,453-33.30
44Ma KeluSummer6,4539,6796,453-33.30
45Zhang WeiJune6,4539,6796,453-33.30
46Zhu JinshiUntitled6,4539,6797,744-2020
47Zhang WeiStreet Scene6,4539,6796,453-33.30
48Zhu JinshiLotus In Full Bloom (Four Works)29,03845,17129,038-35.70
49Chen ShuzhongWildgrass Land: Scattered Flowers40,33156,46345,171-2012
50Lin HaizhongMighty Spring Clouds24,19940,33135,491-1246.7
51Xue LiangSounds Of Youth32,26548,39737,105-23.315
52Zheng LiThe Calling Of Nine Cranes64,53096,794Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
53Qiu TingAutumn Days After The Rain45,17161,30351,624-15.814.3
54Shen QinLandscape12,90619,359Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
55Chen PingLandscape51,62467,756Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
56Long RuiRiverbank Home38,71851,624Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
57Jia YoufuAfter The Rain80,662112,927Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
58Liu QingheWeekend32,26545,17132,265-28.60
59Tian LimingOde To Eastern Winds64,53096,794Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
60Li JinExpression Begets Life16,13224,19919,359-2020
61Lei ZirenScenery (Four Works)45,17161,303Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
62A HaiSeeking Clarity24,19929,03827,425-5.613.3
63Peng WeiRobe Series: Meeting In The Forest32,26548,39754,85013.370
64Ren ZhongPlaying The Zither Beneath The Pines72,59688,728Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
66Wang MingmingPu Songling Reading In The Golden Autumn161,324258,118Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
67Feng YuanSeven Sages In The Forest72,59688,728Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
68Wu ShanmingYellow River Morning Song80,662112,927Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
69Shi GuoliangSteps Of Youth77,43693,568Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
70Fan ZengHuai Su193,589290,383Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
71Li HuashengLandscape8,06612,9068,066-37.50
72Fang ZhaolinSleeping Mountain Laughs At Working Men16,13224,199Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
73Nie OuA Journey’S Cheerful Ballad In The Breeze19,35929,03822,585-22.216.7
74Zhu DaopingSong Of Lin Zong7,26012,099Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
75Jiang HongweiButterflies29,03845,171Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
76Yu HuiSpring Swallows48,39780,662Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
77Zeng MiTerraced Gardens12,90619,359Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
78Zeng MiCliff Dwellings9,67916,132Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
79Zeng MiMountainside12,90619,359Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
80Dong XinbinDragon In The Wind8,06612,90615,32618.890
81Zhu XinjianStudying Hard8,06612,9068,066-37.50
82Zhu XinjianStory Of The Golden Lotus (Jin Ping Mei)4,8408,0666,776-1640
83Zheng Lianjie2002 W-124,19932,26529,038-1020
84Walasse Ting (Ding Xiongquan)Ocean Fishes9,67912,9069,679-250
85Yang YanwenMurmurring Brook & Amidst The Rugged Mountains (Two Works)8,06612,9068,066-37.50
86Wang GuanjunThe Sentiment Series: Green Willow25,81232,26567,756110162.5
87Zao Wou-Ki (Zhao Wuji)Randonnées (Rambles)9,67916,1329,679-400
TOTAL (Sold lots):4,667,1036,907,8905,533,573-19.918.6

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All images and lot info courtesy of Sotheby’s.

  • Sotheby's Beijing

The Overview of Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art Auction at Sotheby's

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).

Sotheby's Beijing
Cai Guo-Qiang – Wolves Of The Dark Night Drawing Experiment For Deutsche Guggenheim, 2005 (Lot 34). Estimated at $129,059 – $193,589, sold for $132,286, or with -31.7 percent difference.
Sotheby's Beijing
Walasse Ting (Ding Xiongquan) – Untitled, 1959 (Lot 30) (detail)
Sotheby's Beijing
Wang Xingwei – Eight Women’s Suicide In A River, 2003 (Lot 37). Estimated at $403,310 – $564,634, sold for $419,442, fourth hammer price of the auction.
Sotheby's Beijing
Liu Kuo-Sung – Cascade, 1967 (Lot 26). Estimated at $25,812 – $32,265, sold for $72,596. This lot had the biggest difference between hammer price and high estimated with +125 percent difference.
Sotheby's Beijing
Left: Liu Xiaodong – True Love, 1991 (Lot 36). Estimated at $161,324 – $241,986, sold for $435,575. This lot was one of the most successful ones, as it had fourth-best hammer price and third-biggest difference between hammer price and high estimate, +80 percent. / Right: Wang Guanjun – The Sentiment Series: Green Willow (Lot 86). Estimated at $25,812 – $32,265, sold for $67,756, or with +110 percent difference – second-best result of the auction.
Sotheby's Beijing
Liu Wei – Landscape, 2006 (Lot 33). Estimated at $564,634 – $725,958, sold for low estimate. This lot had the second-highest hammer price of the auction.
Sotheby's Beijing
Walasse Ting (Ding Xiongquan) – Untitled, 1959 (Lot 30). Estimated at $24,199 – $40,331, sold $83,888, or with +108 percent difference – third best of the auction.