Zao Wou-Ki dominates results of 20th century Chinese art sale

Zao Wou-Ki's top lot

Sotheby’s Hong Kong 20th century Chinese art sale raised $42 million, far exceeding its $24.3 million estimate, however with only 77.4 percent of the lots sold, it’s clear collectors are only paying top dollars for the best quality works. Interest in Zao Wou-Ki’s works dominated the auction, with his works clinching the two top lots, setting in the process a new world record for the artist at auction ($8.84 million). All in all the artist had 7 of the top 12 lots.

Zao Wou-ki’s Vaque
Zao Wou-ki was a reformer in the history of Chinese Art and was one of the first Chinese artists to be recognised outside China.


Reclining Nude, a representative work of modern Chinese art master Sanyu from the 1930s, was also in the top 12 lots, selling for $2.09 million. With her back in full view, she seems fast asleep, her seductive figure luring viewers into her dreams. Created from continuously smooth-flowing, decisive lines, whichdemonstrate the artist’s firm grasp of Chinese calligraphy skills, the pink nude figure of a woman reclines across a yellow carpet embroidered with auspicious Chinese symbols.