Asian Art Auctions Have Staggering Sales

A series of Hong Kong auctions by Sotheby’s and Christie’s suggests that Asian art buyers are establishing themselves as a major force in the art world and that Asian artists are far more popular than previously thought. On April 5, Sotheby’s raked in a staggering $41 million, with a painting by contemporary Chinese artist Liu Ye selling for $2.45 million, nearly three times its estimated value. The auction houses say that the increased demand is a reaction to the period of restraint during the global financial crisis. “There is no question that these results show pent-up demand for great art,” said Evelyn Lin, head of Sotheby’s contemporary Asian art department.