This year has created new normals that we’ve somewhat come to get used to, with one of them being working from home. Sotheby’s staff, across Asia, Europe, and the US, have taken that into an innovative initiative to foster creativity for a good cause.
“The Art of Working From Home” puts together artworks created by Sotheby’s specialist departments, photographers, sale administrators, engineers, security guards, and front desk teams, to raise funds for three charities: Age UK Westminster in London, Save the Children in Hong Kong and, to be announced in due course, a local charity partner supporting working artists in New York.
While the New York online exhibition will run in mid-February next year, London and Hong Kong have wrapped up their exhibitions, showcasing a myriad of works created by the team. Among the over 50 art pieces exhibited in Hong Kong was Fish Rubbing and Calligraphy by Kevin Ching, CEO of Sotheby’s Asia.
Kevin Ching | Fish Rubbing and Calligraphy, 2020
Ink on paper | Framed 44 x 80 x 3 cm
Kevin Ching, CEO of Sotheby’s Asia
Ching’s profound love for poetry and calligraphy reaches beyond his expertise in the art world. What he presented in the exhibition is how everyday objects awaken our imagination - and perhaps how, just like the rest of us, are spending more time in the kitchen, than ever.
“This is an ink rubbing that I did of a fish that I bought one afternoon in a Hong Kong wet market for about HK$ 35 (just over US$4). I believe it was a snapper. I then wrote with traditional Chinese brush and ink about how different species of snappers were known by different names in China and Japan, with some featuring in everyday home meals, and the others fetching top prices in Michelin star restaurants,” said Ching in his statement.
Fish Rubbing and Calligraphy (partial)
Nicolas Chow | Wedding at the Dwarf Empire #1, 2011 | photographs
Fine art print on hahnemühle fine art paper (individually triptych)
Framed 60 x 60 cm (each image)
Nicolas Chow, Sotheby’s International Head and Chairman of the Chinese Works of Art
Since 2006, Nicolas Chow, Sotheby’s International Head and Chairman of the Chinese Works of Art department, has been at the helm of the team and created world auction records throughout the years. The top three are a Qianglong period yellow-ground famille-rose double-gourd vase, sold for HK$252m in 2010; the Chenghua “Chicken Cup” for HK$281m in 2014; as well as the Ru Guanyao Brush Washer dating back to Northern Song Dynasty for HK$294m in 2017.
Besides being the man who made possible these world-record smashing moments, Chow is fond of capturing compelling moments through his lens. “2020 has been a most challenging year and for some of us the unique circumstances surrounding the pandemic have provided an unforeseen opportunity to invest more time than before in our hobbies,” said Chow.
What he put forward for the exhibition are photographs taken in central Sichuan province, China.
Kian Kam (Gallery Coordinator - Hong Kong) | Hollywood Road, Hong Kong, 2020
Watercolor on paper | Framed 54 x 41.5 x 1.5 cm
“‘Hong Kong’ has been a subject matter that I am very fond of, especially things that provide a glimpse of the city’s past. Hollywood road is one of the first roads to be built in Hong Kong after it became a colony. The quaint antique shops on two sides of the street accentuate the classic beauty of Hong Kong. Through depicting the cityscape, I hope to record the face of Hong Kong before it changes as time goes by.”
Fia Andreasson (Gallery Supervisor) | Sunflowers, 2020
Oil on canvas | Framed 50 x 40 cm
“The Coronavirus has affected us all in many ways. One unexpected silver lining for me was that I was able to do more painting than usual - uninterrupted. As I enjoy painting and get a great deal of satisfaction from the process (despite the frustration I get when the ideas don’t transfer to the canvas) I have been able to produce quite a few paintings that I’m happy with.”
Katharina Sayn-Wittgenstein | On my way to Sotheby’s, 2020
Photo print under acrylic glass | 40 x 30 cm
“The world still looked pink when I was last on my way to Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Sale on a February morning - what colour is next?”
Here are the highlights of the cross-continent exhibition:
Uni Kim (Jewellery Specialist) | thank u, next, 2020
Rhinestones on paddle | Framed 43 x 52.5 x 1.5 cm
Wingyun Chan | Teapot and Cups Set, 2020
Wheel-thrown stoneware; painted; electric fired
Teapot: 19 x 11 x 12 cm; Each cup: 7.5 x 7.5 x 5.5 cm
Toby Chan | Gai Daan Zai, 2020
Canvas print | 40 x 40 cm
Brice Foisil | Blue Lobster, 2020
Ink watercolor and gouache | Framed 30 x 40 cm
Robin Cawdron-Stewart | 5 White Ducks on blackened wood
Glazed terracotta, wire and driftwood | Height: 13 cm
Catherine Mac | 2020 Lockdown, 2020
Mixed media | Approx. 30 x 50 cm
Auction house: Sotheby’s
New York Exhibition (Online)
Dates: February 13-17, 2021