Into "King of Mandopop" Jay Chou’s Creative Space Merging New York Street Scene, Art, and Entertainment

Scheduled for June 18, Contemporary Curated: Asia | JAY CHOU x SOTHEBY's will offer an exciting array of modern and contemporary artworks put together by renowned Taiwanese singer-songwriter, also dubbed the “King of Mandopop,” Jay Chou. 

Prior to the sale, K11 MUSEA and K11 ATELIER in Hong Kong are turned into a reimagined New York backstreet, where art lovers will be immersed in the intersection of art, pop culture, and entertainment. 

Make your way into the Broadway theater-inspired entrance and the journey begins with Jean-Michel Basquiat’s triptyque behind the original chairs from the New York-born artist’s studio that were on the New York Times Magazine cover.

“I want to show a collision of cultures...a preview to bring people back to the times when these works were created. Audiences will not just be looking at the paintings, but experiencing the paintings as being part of their space and time. I wish to share the powerful feelings and deep connections art has brought to me… and the stories behind them that are waiting to be discovered.” said Chou. 

Taiwan-born superstar Jay Chou at “The Invincible” concert, also the curator of the upcoming sale

The collaboration between Chou and Sotheby’s was made possible by the soon-to-step-down Yuki Terase, Head of Contemporary Art, Sotheby’s Hong Kong. 

“I can tell you Jay was very much hands-on, from picking out every piece himself, to executing the set design. His fingerprints are all over the preview. I think that’s what makes the sale so exciting and personal too. He is really passionate about this and you can feel that through every detail of the sale.” said Terase at the opening of the preview.

Yuki Terase, Head of Contemporary Art, Sotheby’s Hong Kong 

Basquiat with the sale’s star lot, featured on the cover of The New York Times Magazine, February 1985 issue

Lot 15 | Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled

Painted in 1985
Acrylic and oilstick on wood, in three parts
Dimensions: 217.2 x 275.6 x 30.5 cm
Provenance: (Organized by The Value)

  • Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich
  • Private Collection 
  • Christie's, New York, May 4, 1994, lot 46
  • Collection of Carmen Riera, Barcelona (acquired from the above sale)
  • Christie's, London, February 9, 2005, lot 25 (consigned by the above, price realized:  £1,016,000/ US$18,494,000)
  • Private Collection, USA
  • Acquired from the above by the present owner 

Estimate: HK$255,000,000 - 350,000,000


The highly anticipated sale will be led by one of Chou’s favorite artists, Jean-Michel Basquiat. The recurring appearance of Basquiat’s works on Chou’s Instagram with over 6.4 million followers, indicates just how much the Asian megastar loves the artist’s works.

As a Haitian and Puerto Rican descent, Basquiat was highly aware of the lack of representation of African American population in art history. His works often confront the issue of inequality in society, through a burst of combative energy. 

Jay Chou in front of Basquiat’s Untitled (Orange Sports Figure), sold for HK$73.2m (US$9.4m) at Christie’s Hong Kong, May 2018

Chou’s very first Instagram post is a picture with his mother Yeh Hui-mei, next to another work by Basquiat 

The subversive graffiti rebel began rising to stardom in the 1980s. In 1985, Basquiat even made it on the cover of The New York Times Magazine, which catapulted him to the list of famed artists at the time. 

In triptych format, the present painting was executed in 1985 and draws on the visual vocabulary of African masks and the Jaguar - an important Aztec warrior symbol, together with a figure that resembles Don Quixote - Miguel Cervantes’ farcical knight errant. The ferocity of African and Mesoamerican visual cultures is juxtaposed with Basquiat’s iconic black warrior. 

Closer look at the iconic black warrior

The Jaguar, an Aztec warrior symbol

A figure resembling Don Quixote, Miguel Cervantes’ farcical knight errant

Basquiat's Warrior, sold for HK$323.6m (US$41.7m), Christie's Hong Kong, March 2021

The artworks Basquiat left behind since his passing in 1988, at the age of 27, often command high prices at auction. He is also the highest-grossing American artist. His 1982 painting, Warrior, fetched a whopping HK$323.6m (US$41.7m) three months ago, and is Asia’s auction record for the most valuable Western artwork. If the present work is hammered within-estimate, it is likely to reset the record for the artist.

Lot 12 | Pablo Picasso, Buste d’Homme

Painted in 1969
Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 116 x 89 cm

  • Galerie Schmit, Paris
  • Maruko Company, Ltd., Tokyo
  • Invoice RM Group, Tokyo
  • Ikaan Art International, Osaka
  • Acquavella Galleries, New York
  • Steve Wynn, Las Vegas
  • Acquired from the above by the present owner 

Estimate: HK$93,000,000 - 143,000,000


Presented in a set simulating Picasso’s working studio is another highlight of the sale. Works by Picasso are often seen at New York and London salerooms, yet when Sotheby’s presented his matador painting at April’s cross-category auction, it was sold for HK$140m (US$18m) to become his auction record in Asia. 

Pablo Picasso’s Buste de matador (1970), sold for HK$140m (US$18m) at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, April 2021

Vincent van Gogh, Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat (1887) | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Executed in 1969, Buste d’Homme is Picasso's late-era tribute to yet another world-renowned artist Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat from 1887. Picasso combines the tribute with the musketeer, his alter-ego, recognized from the playful half moustache. 

The present work is estimated at HK$93m to HK$143m and is hopeful to once again renew the record for the artist. 

Lot 6 | Andy Warhol, Campbell's Soup I (Set of Ten)

Executed in 1968
Screenprint on paper
Dimensions: 89 x 58.6 cm each
Provenance: (Organized by The Value)

  • Collection of NIGO®️
  • Sotheby's, Hong Kong, NIGO®️ ONLY LIVES TWICE, October 7, 2014, lot 28 (Price realized: HK$3,160,000 / US$407,093)
  • Acquired from the above sale by the present owner

Estimate: HK$4,000,000 - 6,000,000

The iconic subway entrance, a basketball court and a record store at the exhibition will then lead one to the grocery store, where the "Pope of Pop" Andy Warhol’s signature Campbell’s Soup screenprints are fittingly displayed. 

Recreating the 1964 Pop Art exhibition, "The American Supermarket," where the Campbell Soups series were on view alongside Roy Lichtenstein’s turkey image and artworks by four other pop artists. The exhibition that dates back to more than half a century ago was among the first mass events that directly confronted viewers with pop art.

The present Campbell's Soup I (Set of Ten) by Andy Warhol was owned by NIGO - founder of Japanese clothing brand A Bathing Ape and collector. It was last seen at Sotheby’s Hong Kong NIGO®️ ONLY LIVES TWICE sale, when it was sold for nearly HK$3.2m (US$408,000).

Lot 11 | Yukimasa Ida, King of Rock

Painted in 2021
Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 194 x 162 cm

  • IDA Studio

Estimate: HK$500,000 - 800,000


The New York cityscape would not be complete without some instantly recognizable graffiti works by such sensation names as KAWS, Banky, Futura, and Yukimasa Ida.

Comissioned for the collaborative sale, the present work by 31-year-old Japanese artist Yukimasa Ida pays tribute to the timeless legend of Elvis Presley. The up-and-coming star Ida is known for his provocative paintings that encompass realism and abstraction. He was the youngest artist to ever have been commissioned for the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation charity auction in 2017, before being listed in Forbes’ “30 Under 30 Japan” in 2019.

The preview setting inspired by New York street corners

Lot 9 | Banksy, Laugh Now But One Day We'll Be in Charge

Painted in 2000
Acrylic and stencil spray paint on canvas
Dimensions: 61 x 61 cm

  • Eat the Beat Records, Bristol
  • Private Collection, United Kingdom
  • Sotheby's, London, October 15, 2007, lot 106
  • Private Collection 
  • Bonhams, London, June 29, 2017, lot 20
  • Acquired from the above sale by the present owner

Estimate: HK$6,200,000 - 9,300,000

Lot 46 | KAWS, Untitled (KIMPSONS) (Package Painting Series)

Executed in 2021
Acrylic on canvas in blister package with printed card 

  • Canvas: 41 x 41 cm
  • Blister package: 59.3 x 48 x 7 cm


  • Private Collection, Vancouver (acquired from a gallery in Vancouver) 
  • Acquired from the above by the present owner 

Estimate: HK$2,000,000 - 3,000,000

Lot 8 | Richard Prince, Runaway Nurse

Executed in 2005-2006
Inkjet and acrylic on canvas
Dimensions: 280 x 168 cm

  • Private Collection (acquired directly from the artist) 
  • Christie's, New York, May 10, 2016, lot 38B (Price realized: US$9,685,000)
  • Acquired from the above sale by the present owner 

Estimate: HK$75,000,000 - 95,000,000


Works by one of the most controversial artists, Richard Prince will also be presented in the sale. The painter and photographer allegedly sold enlarged screenshots of Instagram-sourced pictures without permission of the original photographers. Despite the wave of copyright infringement suits, the series, titled New Portraits, continued to sell.

He is also known for his Nurse Paintings series, which inspired Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer 2008 fashion show, when the models were sent down the runway in white uniforms and lace face masks.

Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2008 runway, inspired by Prince’s Nurse Paintings series

Cover of "Kiss Tomorrow Good-bye" by Horace McCoy

Coming to the auction block this time is Prince’s tribute to two vintage novels: the 1948 film noir crime novel “Kiss Tomorrow Good-bye,” and the 1964 dime-store novel “Runaway Nurse.” The artwork challenges traditional gender constructs while embodying Prince’s complex conceptual project.

The present work Runaway Nurse is also the artist’s auction record, set at a Christie's New York sale in 2016, which was sold for US$9.7m, with that same amount being the low estimate this time at Sotheby’s, the record is likely to be renewed. 

Lot 20 | Frank Stella, Untitled (Double Concentric Square)

Painted in 1978
Acrylic on canvas
Dimensions: 205.5 x 408.5 cm

  • Private Collection, USA
  • Gagosian, New York  
  • Acquired from the above by the present owner 

Estimate: HK$32,000,000 - 48,000,000 
Known for his use of electric hues and vibrant orchestration of color harmonies, Frank Stella embraces the 20th-century minimalism in the present work, Untitled (Double Concentric Square). Another work by Stella featuring a forest green and black palette was also featured in one of Jay Chou’s music videos “If You Don’t Love Me, It’s Fine,” which boasts over 49 million views on YouTube. 

Stella’s artwork in the background of “If You Don’t Love Me, It’s Fine” music video

Screen capture from Jay Chou’s Instagram

Lot 21 | a’strict, Waterfall - Sands

Executed in 2020/2021
High-definition video with sound, USB, 2:00 mins (loop), dimensions variable
Estimate: HK$480,000 - 650,000
Another work specially commissioned by Jay Chou for the sale, Waterfall - Sands, by a media artist unit (a’strict) of the Korea-based digital design company d’strict, is a digital artwork that provides a dreamy, yet compelling experience for its viewers. 

Accompanied by the soothing sound of cascading waterfalls and dynamic visuals of a large outpouring of pink sands, the video is a contemporary and sentimental rendition of the natural scenery and is one of the site-specific artworks that the artist unit is famous for. 

Besides artworks, the renowned singer-songwriter has also hand-picked four sets of concept costumes that he wore during his The Invincible World Concert Tour and the sale proceeds will be donated to Make-A-Wish International.

Lot 10 | Jeremy Scott (Creative Director of MOSCHINO), Jay Chou The Invincible 1 World Tour Costumes (2016-2017) (Set of Two) 

Executed in 2016
Mixed media
Estimate: HK$700,000 - 1,200,000

Lot 22 | Tomas Chan, Jay Chou The Invincible 1 World Tour Costume (2016-2017) 

Executed in 2016
Mixed media
Estimate: HK$700,000 - 1,200,000

Lot 34 | Tomas Chan, Jay Chou The Invincible 1 World Tour Costume (2016-2017) 

Executed in 2016
Mixed media
Estimate: HK$700,000 - 1,200,000

Auction Preview:

Dates: June 12 - 18, 2021
Venue: K11 ATELIER and K11 MUSEA, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Pre-registration required for entry

Auction Details:

Auction house: Sotheby’s Hong Kong
Sale: Contemporary Curated: Asia | JAY CHOU x SOTHEBY’S 
Session I: June 18, 2021 | 7:30 pm (local time)
Venue: 5/F Sotheby’s Hong Kong Gallery, One Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong
Session II: June 10 - 22, 2021 (Online auction)