Sotheby’s Successfully Appeals to Young Collectors With Works by Sought-After Contemporary Artists

Sotheby’s latest auction Curated: Turn It Up has achieved ‘white glove’ 100% sold, offering cutting-edge works by some of the hottest contemporary artists. It has proven to be another successful sale curated by Yuki Terase, the newly-appointed Head of Contemporary Art for Sotheby's Asia. Terase is best known for curating well-received sales featuring collections from street fashion master NIGO and Asian pop icon T.O.P.

Yuki Terase

The phenomenal performance reflects Sotheby’s strategy has successfully fed the fast-growing appetite from young collectors across Asia and beyond. 78% of the lots offered were sold above their estimates. Leading the sale was Kusama Yayoi’s Untitled (Pumpkin Sculpture).

Estimated at HK$6m-9m, Untitled (Pumpkin Sculpture) is a prime example of Kusama Yayoi’s most loved and iconic figurative motif – her ubiquitous pumpkin, decorated with her signature polka dot theme. Kusama’s pumpkins are one of the most loved and recognized images in contemporary art today. Such strong interest is also shown in the final price sold as the sculpture topped the sale for HK$11.4m (US$1.45m).

Coming in the second place is Nara Yoshitomo’s No.1. It is one of only two rare Nara Yoshitomo works produced in the special form of an 18th century British portrait medallion. The present work is Nara’s contemporary take on the portrait medallion, featuring the artist’s iconic scowling little girl mounted on an oval base with an indented relief. Estimated at HK$2m-3m, it was sold for HK$3.24m (US$413,003) after premium.

Also on the second spot was George Condo’s Young Girl. The painting forms part of a large corpus of fabricated portraiture that the artist began developing in the mid-1980s; during that decade, which the artist spent in Europe, Condo fervently studied the works of great masters such as Diego Velazquez, Jean-Baptiste Greuze and Edouard Manet. It sparked an intense bidding and was finally sold for HK$3.24m (US$413,003), 6 times its pre-sale estimate of HK$500,000.

The third top lot was back to Kusama Yayoi with her 1996 painting Pumpkin. Kusama Yayoi put her classic pumpkin in red paint with black polka dot. It was sold for HK$3m (US$382,410), 4 times its estimate of HK$700,000.

Top five lots

Kusama Yayoi. Untitled (Pumpkin Sculpture).

Lot no.: 127
Created in: 2007
Size: 20 x 120 x 120 cm
Moma Contemporary, Japan
Beyond Gallery, Taiwan
Private Collection, Taiwan
Acquired from above by the present owner
Estimate: HK$6,000,000 - 9,000,000
Price realised: HK$11,400,000

Nara Yoshitomo. No.1.

Lot no.: 120
Created in: 1996
Size: 36 x 27.5 cm
Private Collection (acquired directly from the artist)
Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo
Sotheby's, London, 22 June 2006, lot 355
Private Collection, Asia
Acquired by the present owner from the above
Estimate: HK$2,000,000 - 3,000,000
Price realised: HK$3,240,000

George Condo. Young Girl.

Lot no.: 115
Created in: 2007
Size: 40.6 x 30.5 cm
Galerie Andrea Caratsch, Zurich
Acquired by the present owner from the above
Estimate: HK$500,000 - 700,000
Price realised: HK$3,240,000

Kusama Yayoi. Pumpkin.

Lot no.: 126
Created in: 1996
Size: 14 x 18 cm
Private European Collection
Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 6 October 2014, lot 704
Acquired by the present owner from the above sale
Estimate: HK$700,000 - 900,000
Price realised: HK$3,000,000

KAWS. Make the Run.

Lot no.: 134
Created in: 2012
Diameter: 102 cm
Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong
Acquired by the present owner from the above
Estimate: HK$600,000 - 1,000,000
Price realised: HK$1,750,000
Auction summary
Auction house: Sotheby’s Hong Kong
Sale: Curated: Turn it Up
Sale date: 8 June 2018
Lots offered: 102
Sold by lot: 100%