Press Release  November 6, 2017

Modern and Contemporary Works Coming to Bonhams Hong Kong

Courtesy of Bonhams

Zeng Fanzhi, Zao Wou-ki, Hsiao Chin, Key Hiraga, KAWS and Kishio Suga are among the line-up of sought-after artists featured in Bonhams 39-lot sale for Modern and Contemporary Art on 21 November in Hong Kong.

The cover lot is a rare piece by Kishio Suga (b.1944), a leading member of Mono-Ha, a group of Japanese artists prolific during the late 60s and early 70s that aimed to challenge the traditional concepts of art. In this post Mono-Ha piece, Inside and Out of Lattice, painted in 1990 (estimate HK$300,000 - 500,000), the artist explores the dynamic relationship between everyday materials and the negative space around them.

Courtesy of Bonhams

Kishio Suga, Inside and Out of Lattice

The sale also features a strong selection of works by renowned Chinese modern and contemporary artists. Among these is Dordogne (1954), estimated at HK$4,000,000 - 6,000,000, by the Chinese contemporary artist Zao Wou-ki (1921-2013). The painting is from an important period in Zao's career when he broke through his previous limitations to present an entirely new language for abstraction, incorporating Chinese calligraphy, signs, ancient bronze and oracle bone inscriptions as inspiration for his brushwork.

Chinese contemporary artist, Zeng Fanzhi (b.1964), is represented in the sale by Smiling Bei Ke Ning, estimated at HK$3,500,000 - 5,500,000 and coming from the very early days of Zeng's discovery of his "voice" as an artist. Painted in late 1989, the piece features a casual and relaxed figure (a classmate of the artist's, nicknamed Bei Ke Ning), rendered in emotive, expressionistic strokes, revealing Zeng's longstanding interest in psychological expression.

Works by Hsiao Chin (b.1935) span different decades of the artist's career. These include Untitled, 1956 (HK$80,000 - 100,000) – a rare example of an oil painting from his early Chinese Opera series; and, Vento Cosmico – 28, 1988 (HK$350,000 - 550,000) – a late masterpiece from the Chi series of the 1980s. This is the period after the Duality and Zen series of the 70s as the artist entered a stage of further maturity, and began creating imposing and majestic abstract paintings.

A strong international urban art section, offers works by French artists Invader and Blek Le Rat, and a monumental tondo canvas by American artist known as KAWS. KAWS worldwide star status was affirmed by his recent retrospective, Where the End Starts¸ held at the Yuz Art Museum in Shanghai, and which had waiting lines for attendees for months on end. KAWS is known for his personal and introspective appropriation of popular commercial and cartoon images. The work included in the auction features one of his anxiety-ridden reinterpretations of SpongeBob SquarePants, part of his much sought-after KAWSBob series.

Finally, following a successful exhibition in June of early works on paper by Japanese artist, Key Hiraga (1936-2000), the current auction in Hong Kong will offer for sale additional early drawings by the artist, demonstrating his restless talent, as well as signature works from his years in Paris and beyond, in which Hiraga's technique, style, and joie de vivre in full bloom. Bonhams plans to hold a larger exhibition of Hiraga's works in April 2018 in its exhibition space on Madison Avenue in New York.

Bonhams Director of Modern and Contemporary Art, Asia, Ingrid Dudek, says, "This season's auction highlights some of the most recognized artists in their field – whether Zao Wou-ki, Zeng Fanzhi, Kishio Suga or KAWS. The sale points to the strengths and tastes of the Asian market: adventurous in inspiration, innovative in approach, international in impact and appeal. We look forward to continuing to bring a dynamic range of unique and rare works that will appeal to collectors from across the region and the world."

Other featured artists include Susumu Koshimizu, Park Seo-Bo, Kim Chan-Il, and Chuang Che.

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