Chinese Collectors Smash Estimates At Sotheby’s Contemporary Asian Art Auction In Hong Kong

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HONG KONG.- After strong showings at this year’s spring auctions in Hong Kong, we expected new Chinese collectors to dominate at Sotheby’s Contemporary Asian Art auction today in Hong Kong as they have at other recent wine, jewelry and jade sales. Apparently these collectors were in a buying mood today, as they pushed prices for top blue-chip contemporary artists — including Zhang Xiaogang, Fang Lijun and Liu Yue — beyond already high expectations, bringing the auction’s grand total to HK$210 Million (US$27 Million), comfortably above pre-sale estimates of HK$150 million (US$19 Million). Much as they have in other auctions over the past 18 months, collectors mainly from the Chinese Mainland showed a strong preference for works by increasingly scarce Chinese artists like Zhang Xiaogang, whose rarely seen early painting “Chapter of a New Century – Birth of the People’s Republic of China II” (1992) sold, apparently