Zhang Xiaogang, Bloodline: Big Family No. 3, via Sotheby's
A slowing economy does not seem to be stalling demand in China’s growing art market. Sotheby’s Hong Kong closed Saturday with record auction sales totaling $86 million, breaking nine records for Asian artists and bringing the auction house to some $140 million in sales in the first three days of its spring auctions.
Included in Saturday’s sales was Contemporary Chinese artist Zhang Xiaogang’s Bloodline: Big Family No. 3, which was acquired by an anonymous buyer for a whopping $12.1 million, breaking the artist’s previous $10 million sale record. The artwork is representative of Zhang’s large body of portraits recalling photography from 1950s China but is unique in that it is the only one in the series depicting a Little Red Soldier wearing a Mao pin.
According to Sotheby’s, nine of the top ten sales went to private Asian buyers, illustrating the region’s continued high demand for contemporary art. Indeed, only four artworks of the fifty-five offered went unsold. Among the other top sales were Indonesian artist S. Sudjojono's Our Soldiers Led Under Prince Diponegoro, which fetched three times its estimated value, and two paintings by Zeng Fanzhi, whose first Parisian exhibition at the Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris just closed in February. Zeng’s This Land So Rich in Beauty No. 6 and Mask Series No. 5 each sold for over $2.7 million.