Financial crisis in US affects Sotheby’s Hong Kong art sale

October 5th, 2008 - 4:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Lehman BrothersNew Delhi, Oct 5 (IANS) The Sotheby’s Hong Kong art sale felt the ripples of The financial turmoil in the US and Europe as two of the seven works by contemporary Indian artists, including Subodh Gupta’s much hyped work “Untitled”, remained unsold.Selling above the high estimates, Thukral & Tagra’s “I Like My Man Covered Too” brought $234,252 (estimate $100/155,000) and Chintan Upadhyay’s “Together For Life Whether We Like It Or Not” sold for $141,581 (estimate $70/100,000), the latter the highest price achieved at auction for a painting by this artist.

While Jitish Kallat’s “Rickshawpolis-3″ went for $187,917, well within its estimate of $155/210,000, as did T.V. Santosh’s “In God’s Name”, which also sold for $187,917 (estimate $155/210,000). Jagannath Panda’s “Desirescape II” sold for $87,523.

Hong Kong, considered to be the art hub of the East, is feeling the ripples of the markets crashing in the US and Europe because a number of buyers have been Western and European.

The bullish Chinese art market is likely to come under increasing strain in the coming months amid the bleak global economic outlook, say dealers and market participants of the major seasonal sales in Hong Kong.

Though Sotheby’s sold 218 Damien Hirst items for 111 mn pounds, hours after the collapse of Lehman Brothers investment bank last month, the same magic could not be recreated here at Hong Kong. Subodh Gupta’s work “Untitled” oil-on-canvas, estimated at HK $12-16 million ($1.5 million-$2.05 million) went unsold. The second work that went unsold was that of Justin Ponmany. Five of the seven lots of Indian paintings were sold. Obviously, the Chinese market has cooled in the face of financial turmoil.

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