A painting by Chinese-French painter Zao Wou-Ki was sold for a record 510 million Hong Kong dollars ($65 million) on Sunday, making it one of Asia's largest ever art auctions.
Reportedly, the artist's abstract work Juin-Octobre 1985 is now the most expensive painting ever to go under the hammer in Hong Kong. It was sold more than 28 times its previous purchase price and setting a new record for an Asian oil painting sold at auction.
“At $65 million, Zao Wou-Ki joins the ranks of his postwar American contemporaries like de Kooning, Mark Rothko and Barnett
Newnan, Pascal de Sarthe," a Hong Kong-based dealer who has been selling Zao’s works for 35 years, said after the sale.
Born in Beijing before moving to Paris after World War II, Zao who died in 2013, is known for combining classical Chinese painting techniques with the abstract influences of Western modernism.
Earlier, Taiwanese businessman Chang Qiu Dun, whose company P&F Brother Industrial Corp. makes treadmills and power tools had paid $2.3 million in May 2005 for Juin-Octobre 1985. Change had kept the 10-meter (33 foot) artwork at a purpose-built space adjoining his factory in the industrial city of Taichung.
The organisers declined to share details of the Zao buyer, who placed the winning bid by phone through Sebastian Fahey, the auction house’s managing director of business in Asia. The sale was over in just a few minutes, handing Chang a 2,735 percent return on his investment versus a gain of about 150 percent for the S&P 500 over the same period.