Sotheby’s has become the first international fine art auction house to conduct a sale in mainland China on September 27th. The largely symbolic auction saw Self and Self Shadow, a contemporary sculpture by Beijing-born artist Wang Huaiqing, sell for 1.4-M Yuan (US$222,222).
The auction was staged in celebration of Sotheby’s joint venture, signed only last week with the Chinese state-owned Beijing Gehua Art Company, to create Sotheby’s (Beijing) Auction Co., Ltd. The Gehua Art Company is building the first Chinese Free port in Tianzhu Free Trade Zone in Beijing’s suburban district of Shunyi near Beijing airport and which will be open by late 2013. Sotheby’s will be the only international house allowed to conduct auctions or selling exhibitions within the Freeport. This joint venture will allow the international auction house to trade in sectors as Chinese contemporary and modern art, Western art, Jewelry and watches.
Meanwhile, just as Sotheby’s enters the mainland market, China’s oldest fine art auction company, China Guardian, prepares for its first auction in Hong Kong next month. The sale on October 7 will mark the first time that a Chinese mainland auction house has gone head to head with its international competitors.
Original article on ArtInfo Sotheby’s makes history with first ever Chinese mainland auction