Christie's will begin evening auctions in Hong Kong in May, Bloomberg reports. The top lot in the May 24 sale of about 50 modern and contemporary Asian works is Zeng Fanzhi's Mask Series 1996 No. 6, which may fetch up to $3.5 million. Until now, Christie's and Sotheby's only held daytime auctions in Hong Kong. In London and New York, evening auctions act as the industry's barometer and offer the best lots.
The Asian market, spurred by Chinese artists, has repeatedly set records over the past two years. Works by veteran, foreign-trained Chinese artists are fetching rising numbers at auction, while paintings by dead masters still bring the top prices. The record for a single Chinese contemporary painting was set in London in October with Yue Minjun's Execution, about the 1989 Tienanmen Square incident, which sold for $5.7 million. Prices of Asian artworks may rise faster because of a weakening Hong Kong dollar.