Daily Archives: September 10, 2009

Auction To Watch: Sotheby’s Contemporary Asian Art Autumn Sale 2009

Sale Features Works Over 190 Works By Chinese, Japanese and Korean Artists, With Estimates At Over $12 Million US (HK $98 Million)

Up for auction on October 6 in Hong Kong: Cai Guo-Qiang's "Money Net No. 2" (2002)

Up for auction on October 6 in Hong Kong: Cai Guo-Qiang's "Money Net No. 2" (2002)

We will write much more about this upcoming auction as details come in, but today Sotheby’s announced its upcoming autumn auction of contemporary Asian art — featuring top Chinese artists like Cai Guo-Qiang and Zeng Fanzhi as well as Japanese and Korean artists like Yoshitomo Nara and Bae Bien-U. According to the press release, this sale — to be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on October 6 — will follow auctions of Wine and Fine Chinese paintings from October 3-5.

Although the auction includes many top East Asian artists, we’ll be keeping our eyes on the Chinese side. The success of recent Hong Kong auctions, where local buyers have become more numerous as well as more active, gives me a sense that this sale will be one of the year’s highlights. Depending on the turnout, we might be seeing a real turning point in terms of the buyer profile for contemporary Chinese art, and the beginning of the end of western and non-Chinese dominance in purchasing Chinese art.

As Evelyn Lin, Sotheby’s Head of Contemporary Asian Art, said, “Sotheby’s Hong Kong once again presents a carefully-curated auction of high-quality works by contemporary artists from across Asia. Highlighting this sale is a selection of seminal creations by some of the most prominent artists in the region including Cai Guo-Qiang, Zeng Fanzhi, Yayoi Kusama and Yoshitomo Nara. The kaleidoscopic array of works brings to the fore the diversity and dynamism of the contemporary Asian art scene, as well as the artists’ unrivalled creativity that is set to captivate our collectors.”

Look for more updates on this auction as we get more details — it’s going to be exciting.

 

China Rolls The Dice On An American Casino

China State Construction Engineering Corp. Signs $1.7 Billion Agreement With Tishman And Casino Builder Revel Entertainment To Complete Atlantic City Casino

Photo: AP

Photo: AP

Forbes.com reports today that one of the big investment trends of the last decade — western (primarily American) investors pumping money into places like Macau to develop sprawling casinos — has been turned on its head, as China State Construction Engineering Corp. (CSCEC), China’s biggest property company, has just signed a $1.7 billion deal with Tishman and Revel to complete a new casino in Atlantic City by July 2011. This investment may be unusual, but it is both a welcome injection of cash into a delayed project as well as a possible sign of more Chinese-American cooperative deals and construction projects to come. These construction agreements are extremely common in China — as we reported yesterday — but to date have been largely nonexistent in America.

CSCEC has been on a bit of a roll lately, having benefitted greatly from China’s massive stimulus spending, and will provide the much-needed funding that this project needs to finally get moving again — construction had been halted in the wake of the global financial crisis. As Forbes.com notes, CSCEC

reported a net profit of 2.35 billion yuan ($344 million) for the first half of 2009 on 111.3 billion yuan ($16.3 billion) in revenue.

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Wealthy Chinese In 2020 — Luxury Watch Lovers, Art Collectors, Wine Aficionados

Breakneck Development Of Luxury And Cultural Sectors In Last 20 Years Indicates That Chinese Luxury Consumers Will Be A Huge Global Force For Foreseeable Future

By 2020, China will be a global financial powerhouse -- but what will luxury consumers be buying by then, once they've made their first "big" purchases?

By 2020, China will be a global financial powerhouse -- but what will luxury consumers be buying by then, once they've made their first "big" purchases?

Over the last few weeks, as the ongoing global economic woes further put China, and its relative insulation from the worldwide crisis, in the spotlight as a luxury and business “success story” we have seen a much stronger focus on the Chinese consumer. Observers look to Chinese consumption as one of the keys to a faster global recovery, and luxury watchers see news like store openings in China, auction results, and even stories of wealthy Chinese tossing their wealth around freely as signs that the Chinese upper-middle and upper class are spending again. Today, an article in Wealth Bulletin hints that luxury executives who are worried that the Chinese market is not solid enough to invest their full faith into that consumer class can breathe a tentative sigh, as they cite the Julius Baer Luxury Brands Fund’s 27% rise in Euro terms, versus a 17% rise in the MSCI World:

Julius Baer said in a report today it predicts profit margins will remain in double digit territory for many luxury companies, despite the global economic slowdown.

These bullish findings indicate that the global wealthy are still buying luxury goods, which is, in some ways, unsurprising — but this has to be qualified by looking into how these numbers have risen. Although the Julius Baer index notes a rise, it does not break down the demographics of who is buying high-priced luxury goods. Based on other data, it seems that the influence of emerging wealthy consumers from places like China and, to a lesser extent, the Middle East and India, who are bolstering the luxury market.

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Chinese Woman Spends $600,000 On Dog

Black Tibetan Mastiff Believed To Be The Most Expensive Dog In History

Chinese bloggers have had a field day with the story of Mrs. Wang and her 4 million RMB "master"

Chinese bloggers have had a field day with the story of Mrs. Wang and her 4 million RMB "master"

Several Chinese– and English-language outlets are reporting the sale of a black Tibetan Mastiff to a millionaire from China’s northern Shaanxi province for 4 million yuan (appx. $600,000), which, if an accurate figure, would make this the most expensive dog in history. As the AFP reports (via Sohu), the buyer — named only as “Mrs. Wang” — arranged an extravagant arrival for herself (and her new purchase) in the city of Xi’an:

A convoy of 30 black Mercedes-Benz cars, led by two sports utility vehicles, drove to the airport Wednesday to pick up the pair, who had arrived from the Tibetan-populated province of Qinghai in China’s northwest.

Photos of the event posted with the report showed a committee of dog-lovers holding up a long red banner welcoming the mastiff to Xi’an.

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