Up to US $ 6.4 Million in World Famous Contemporary Art Sold at Auction (Part 2) | Auction news | THE VALUE

Following our previous article, The value discussed world-renowned contemporary Western artists who will be shown at Sotheby’s Autumn Auction in Hong Kong on October 9. Among the successful batches, Basquiat’s Untitled (Red Warrior, 1982) will lead the evening sales of contemporary art valued at between HK $ 150 million and HK $ 200 million (approximately US $ 19.2 to $ 25.7 million). It remains to be seen whether the American artist’s artwork breaks another record as the most expensive Western artwork sold in Asia.

Yoshitomo Nara is Japan’s most beloved artist, and his Under the misty sky (2012) the painting will be sold in the next Sotheby’s auction. It is valued at between HK $ 50 million and HK $ 70 million (approximately $ 6.4 to $ 8.9 million).

Alongside Nara, contemporary oriental artists such as Zhang Xiao-gang and Kazuo Shiraga are also featured in the auction. These works of art are discussed below and listed in order of price.

Oriental Contemporary Art

Yoshitomo Nara | Under the misty sky, acrylic on canvas

Established in 2012
194.8 x 162 cm

  • Pace Gallery, London
  • Acquired from it by the current owner

Estimated price: HK $ 50,000,000-70,000,000 (approx. $ 6.4-8.9 million)


Yoshitomo Nara is a Japanese artist best known for his paintings of a young girl with piercing eyes. His work, Knife behind the back (2000), was sold for HK $ 195.6 million (approximately US $ 25.1 million) in October 2019. This made Nara the most expensive Japanese artist.

A contemporary of Takashi Murakami (founder of the Super flat Japanese manga / anime art movement), Nara has been influenced by popular culture in eastern and western society.

Her versatile practice explores themes of isolation, rebellion and spirituality through printmaking, painting, sculpture, ceramics and installations.

Nara’s Knife in the Back (2000) | Sotheby’s Hong Kong, October 2019


Under the misty sky (2012) is a sensitive and stimulating work by Yoshitomo Nara, presenting two of his most famous motifs: the figure of the big-headed little girl and the two-leaf shoot.

After a devastating earthquake hit Tohoku in northeastern Japan in 2011, Nara painted Under the misty sky, in 2012. The work was created in response to the earthquake and the artist’s hope for the recovery of Japan.

The protagonist, the little girl with the big head, clings to the two-leaf shoots. The shoot grows on olive trees, a symbol of hope and peace after the devastation of the earthquake.

Zhang Xiao-gang | Chapter of a New Century – Birth of the People’s Republic of China II | Oil, cotton tape and collage of black and white photocopies on canvas

Established in 1958
149.4 x 119.4 cm

  • Private collection
  • Sotheby’s, Hong Kong, October 4, 2010, Lot 765A
  • Acquired from the above sale by the current owner

Estimated price: HK $ 42,000,000-62,000,000 (approx. $ 5.4-7.9 million)


Zhang Xiao-gang is a Chinese painter and a distinguished member of the contemporary Chinese avant-garde.

His stylized, surrealist-inspired portraits executed in flowing oil paint maintain a formal and rigidly posed aesthetic, focusing on the legacy of Chinese political upheaval and the sense of family, history and place. memory in China today.

Upon discovering an album of old photographs of his family in the late 1980s, Zhang was inspired to create his Bloodlines series (started in 1993), the body of work for which he is now widely celebrated.


The first impression of Chapter of a New Century – Birth of the People’s Republic of China II (1992) symbolizes fragility.

Placing a baby, a vulnerable living condition, on a hardwood box strikes a note of fear in the hearts of every parent. This child is a metaphor, a symbol of human existence. From a religious point of view, the baby is lying on a fabric cushion and evokes the image of the baby Jesus. His gaze is directed by a red colored hand, towards an open book, which one might suppose to be a Bible or a book of faith.

Zhang’s The Black Trilogy: Fear, Meditation, Sorrow (1989-1990)

Similar works

Zhang’s early works were different from his archetype Line series.

Imbued with symbolism, this triptych called The Black Trilogy: Fear, Meditation, Sorrow (1989-1990) urgently addresses the sequential themes of terror, contemplation and melancholy acceptance.

Each panel includes a white stage, theatrical lighting and a red fabric reminiscent of stage curtains. Similar to Chapter of a New Century – Birth of the People’s Republic of China II (1992), a baby is shown in the foreground of the painting. His head, appallingly white and spectral, presents the opposing themes of life and death, the new and the inanimate.

The Dark Trilogy is taller than Chapter of a new century. The old set of paintings measures 179 x 114 cm (left and center paintings) and 177.8 x 114.3 cm (right painting), and 179 x 342.3 cm in total (all three works). This last painting measures 149.4 by 119.4 cm.

Other key works

Kazuo Shiraga | T53, oil on canvas

Established in 1961
130 x 97.2 cm

  • Stadler Gallery, Paris
  • Private collection
  • Lombrail-Teucquam, Paris, November 20, 2009, Lot 94
  • European private collection
  • Sotheby’s, Hong Kong, October 4, 2015, Lot 1056
  • Acquired from the above sale by the current owner

Estimated price: HK $ 10,000,000 – 18,000,000 (approximately US $ 1.2-2.3 million)

Liu Wei | We love nature, oil on canvas

Established in 1999
149.5 x 149.5 cm

  • Private collection (acquired directly from the artist)
  • European private collection
  • Sotheby’s, Hong Kong, October 5, 2014, Lot 1045
  • Acquired from the above sale by the current owner

Estimated price: HK $ 10,000,000-20,000,000 (approx. US $ 1.2-2.5 million)

Amoako Boafo | White Hat White Shades, oil on canvas

Created in 2019

  • Robert Projects, Los Angeles
  • Jeffrey Deitch, Los Angeles
  • Acquired from it by the current owner

Estimated price: HK $ 2,500,000 to 3,500,000 (approx. USD 320,000 to 450,000)

Auction details

Auction House: Sotheby’s Hong Kong
Date: October 9, 2021
Sale: Contemporary art evening sale
Location: Sotheby’s Hong Kong Gallery | 5 / F One Pacific Place

Preview of the exhibition

Date: October 7-9, 2021
Location: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center

Christopher S. Washington