Not laughing for much longer?

November 30 2011

Image of Not laughing for much longer?

Picture: Christie's Hong Kong

Artinfo reports a weak sale of Chinese contemporary art at Christie's Hong Kong, and says it is a sign of the 'cooling' market: one in the room at the evening sale of Asian modern and contemporary art on Saturday night could help but notice the anaemic level of support for Chinese contemporary art. And given the role of this sector in boosting Hong Kong as a venue for contemporary art sales, this must be cause for concern to the major auction houses and dealers. "Faces of New China," the single-owner sale, was meant to be the high point of the evening auction, but six of the 14 lots were bought in and another four sold below their low estimate. The quality of the works on offer was not in question: among the pieces passed in were strong works by Liu Ye and Zhang Xiaogang, who up until now have been two of the most consistently supported of Chinese contemporary artists both internationally and in China.

A cooling market, or an understandable pause in the stratospheric rise in Chinese contemporary? Who knows, but the recent stories of fakes appearing everywhere can't be helping things.

Artinfo bolsters its theory of a sagging far eastern art market with news that a prominent work by Jeff Koons also failed to sell recently at auction in South Korea. Every cloud... 

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