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    Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

    Zhang Daqian (1899-1983) – Lush Mountains in Misty Gleam, 1967

    A masterful splashed ink and colour landscape on gold paper by Zhang Daqian is a highlight at Sotheby’s sale of Fine Chinese Paintings in Hong Kong on April 4.  Among more than 300 lots are masterpieces by Zhang Daqian, many of which were gifts to his close friends, such as the splashed ink and colour landscape on gold paper for Tai Jingnong, a splashed ink lotus painting for Wu Hufan to celebrate his 70th birthday, and red lotuses for his friend Mao Yingchu.  The sale features a number of specially-curated thematic sections, such as an array of paintings and calligraphy previously from the collection of Wu Hufan, along with works of Wu and his students, and the collection of celebrated Guangdong book collector Mo Boji. The sale is expected to bring in around US$20 million.

    C.K. Cheung, Sotheby’s Head of Chinese Paintings Department, said: “This spring, we are pleased to present significant works in considered thematic sections that reflect the department’s meticulous sourcing approach. Not only do these groupings emphasise each work’s intrinsic artistic value, they also put into context the artists’ relationships and place in the wider art world, as well as his or her artistic orientation. Once kept in the hands of revered private collectors, many of these rare works boast impeccable provenance, and several are fresh to market.”


    Wednesday, July 20th, 2016
    Zhang Daqian's Peach Blossom Spring.

    Zhang Daqian’s Peach Blossom Spring.

    Half year sales at Sotheby’s Asia are up 22% to US$461.5 million.   The results for the first six months of 2016 defied markets and beat expectations. More than 80% of lots sold achieved prices at or above their mid estimate. Three artworks sold for prices above HK$100 million, capped by Zhang Daqian’s Peach Blossom Spring which sold after a 50 minute bidding battle for H$270.68 million or US$34.9 million.

    There was particularly strong bidding from throughout Asia, including mainland Chinese collectors, though bidders registered from 65 countries around the globe.  Asian private collectors dominated Sotheby’s jewellery sales in Hong Kong.  The client base continued to expand and 23% of buyers were new to Sotheby’s.  It was also noted that the interest of Asian collectors in Western art continued to deepen.

    Kevin Ching, Chief Executive Officer of Sotheby’s Asia said: ‘We are delighted by the exceptional half year results that reached 22% over last year.  After more than four decades in Asia, Sotheby’s maintains an unrivalled ability to source the finest and rarest objects from notable collections around the world – a critical element to our success.  Longstanding relationships with seasoned collectors worldwide led to a number of important consignments – from the Pilkington Collection of Chinese ceramics, to Zhang Daqian’s Peach Blossom Spring, to the Mi Yun Hall Collection of Classical Chinese Paintings – that drove remarkable results across collecting categories.

    ‘We are further encouraged by the growing presence of Asian collectors in our worldwide salerooms, where they are pushing the market forward – evidenced by their active participation in recent major sales of Contemporary Art in New York and London, among so many others”.

    Sotheby’s worldwide have year results are due to be announced in early August.


    Tuesday, April 5th, 2016
    Zhang Daqian -  Peach Blossom Spring (1982

    Zhang Daqian – Peach Blossom Spring (1982

    There was a world record for Zhang Daqian at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong today when an important splashed ink and colour masterpiece sold for  US$34.7 million.  Peach Blossom Spring had a high estimate of $8.3 million. It was bought by the Long Museum in Shanghai.  The painting attracted more than 100 bids.  Well-documented in scholarly works and exhibited in leading museums in the United States this monumental scroll is considered to be a pivotal work from Zhang’s late years, alongside Mt. Lu, another landscape by Zhang which is currently held by the National Palace Museum in Taiwan.  The painting set an auction record of US$240,000 in 1987.  It now returns to Asia from the Mactaggart Art Collection.

    After living abroad for more than two decades, Zhang Daqian relocated from the United States to Taiwan in 1976, hoping to settle down for a quiet life at his new riverside idyll on the outskirts of Taipei. Yet, as the suburb gradually grew into a bustling community, Zhang’s quietude was disrupted, inspiring him to paint a tribute to the peaceful town as he once dreamed of it. On this work, Zhang inscribed a poem to express his lifelong search for such a blissful scene.  Monumental in scale, vibrant in hue, this feat of artistic creation reaches over two metres in height and employs mineral pigments to create layers and layers of splashed ink evoking a landscape filled with trees. The heavenly scene stretches from a blank space at the foot of the scroll, where branches of a blossom tree reach upward in pink shades and a small fisherman boat floats by: the picture of natural tranquillity Zhang sought in person, and brought to life in his art.