There are few Chinese-American auction house owners closer to the traditions of the Chinese scholars than Kwong Lum of Hong Kong Auctions NY. An artist, calligrapher and poet, he is both advisor to the National Museum of China and the first living artist to be honored with a museum in his name in that country. When Hong Kong Auctions announces a sale, as the one slated for September 18, collectors and investors can be assured it features the finest in Chinese paintings, ceramics, bronzes and works of art at every price level.
According to Kwong Lum, Hong Kong Auctions NY's September sale is among the strongest of New York's fall Asia Week slate. The morning session is dedicated to a remarkable collection of Chinese paintings, both traditional and contemporary. The afternoon session features ceramics, bronzes and works of art, including a spectacular collection of rhino horn carvings.
The morning's marquee item is a gigantic mixed media on paper by Wang Linxu (b. 1959). Entitled "Song for the Sky," the four-panel ode measures more than eight feet tall. It is expected to command around $500,000, possibly more. Wang Linxu works have brought as much as $1.9 million ($15,000,000 HK).
Meanwhile, a Northern Song Dynasty hanging scroll, inscribed and signed Mi Fu, depicts a traditional landscape of mountains among clouds. Provenance is the New York Sai Yang Tang Collection. The work carries one artist seal, ten Emperors Seals and Twelve Collectors' seals. Estimate is by request.
A big draw is the collection of six paintings by Zhang Daqian, the noted 20th Century artist who began his career as a traditionalist and evolved into a modern impressionist and expressionist. One of the lots is an album containing eight leaf paintings, all ink-and-color on paper, created mid-century. Others in the collection were painted while Zhang was in Dunhuang copying the frescos.
More than 70 other paintings include two contemporary bronze sculptures by Zhang Wenzhi, one of China's most acclaimed female artists. "Student," 45 inches tall, is an emotional depiction of a t-shirt clad, barefoot young man. "Gossiper" portrays a more than three feet tall nude female figure with an animated mouth. Each Zhang Wenzhi bronze is expected to command as much a $50,000.
A vibrant red, green and while acrylic-on-canvas by Taiwanese-American painter C.J. Yao entitled "Flying Crane" puts a New York abstract spin on the day's proceedings and is likely to find a home in the mid-five figures.
In the afternoon, a stunning celadon ceramic Lonquam vase much like one in the National Palace Museum of Taipei takes center stage. Of cylindrical form, with phoenix handles, the Longquan glaze is masterful, thick and translucent with bluish-green texture reminiscent of jade. The estimate is by request.
From the New York Sai Yang Tang collection comes an extremely rare Tang Dynasty buff ceramic vase painted with a blue and white abstract spray of leaves. A comparable vase of similar craftsmanship is currently housed in China's Palace Museum, Beijing. The Tang Dynasty vase is expected to command $1.2 million or more.
A fine bronze vessel molded as mythical beast with two heads, inlaid with gold and silver jun is an archaic masterpiece. The creature is portrayed a recumbent position, with a head at either end of its elongated body. Each features pricked back ears, bulging eyes and curled lips. At the center of the back, there is a circular cover with handle. Bidding is expected to begin at $60,000.
In addition to items at the top of the market, there are many affordable decorative items. Among these is an excellent collection of rhino horn carvings. Several simply carved cups, libations cups and full tip carved figures as well as sculptures of deities, all of the Republic era. Two finely carved Buddhas date to the Qing Dynasty. Collections of carved jades and carved ivories are also within reach.
Hong Kong Auction Gallery's sale is September 18, beginning at 11:00 a.m. The preview runs from Saturday, September 10 through Saturday, September 17.
295 Madison Avenue
Entrance at 38 E 41 Street
New York, New York
About Hong Kong Auction Gallery (NY)
Hong Kong Auction Gallery is a family owned business, established in 2006. Chairman, Mr. Kwong Lum (Lin Ji-guang) is a New York-based Chinese-American artist, calligrapher, poet, art and literary critic, and connoisseur of classical Chinese art, He is Director of the International Society of Chinese Art Collectors and the chief advisor for the National Museum of China. In honor of his outstanding accomplishments in Chinese art, the City of Jiangmen of Guangdong Province in China is constructing a magnificent art museum in his name, which will be the first ever built for a living artist in China.