An oil & acrylic painting by Tan Swie Hian sold for 18.97 million RMB (about US$3.01 million) at Beijing Poly International Auction’s Autumn sale on Dec 2, setting a record for a work by a Singaporean contemporary artist at auction.
Tan had painted “When the Moon Is Orbed” in Beijing earlier this year.
In a press statement Tan noted that he felt lucky to experience this success while alive, “Millet’s ‘The Angelus’ changed hands many times with modest rewards during his lifetime but was bid with a handsome amount only a decade after his death. And van Gogh did not live to rejoice over such an experience as well. So the result of this auction is a rare honor.”
Artistic consultant to Poly Guo Yuanchao said the result indicates that Chinese mainstream collectors, after having embraced artistic masters such as Zhao Wou-Ki and Chu Teh-Chun who are fully Westernized, are now focusing their attention on internationally renowned masters steeped in Eastern Cultures