Investment Insights from August 2023 Chinese Paintings Online Auctions

Investment Insights from August 2023 Chinese Paintings Online Auctions
Zhang Daqian, Banana Leaves and Bamboo. Source - Sotheby's.


August 2023 has been a significant month for Chinese paintings, with two major online auctions taking place: "Summer Reverie" and "Inkspiration." These auctions, held in Hong Kong, have provided a wealth of data and insights into the current state of the Chinese art market. This report aims to offer investors valuable perspectives on market trends, price realizations, and potential future opportunities.

Artists like Ding Yanyong, Han Meilin, and Tung Chiao have seen their works fetch impressive prices. For instance, Ding Yanyong's "Narcissus and Chick" surpassed its highest estimate of HK$18,000, selling for HK$21,420 in the "Summer Reverie" auction. Similarly, Tung Chiao's "Calligraphy" piece in the "Inkspiration" auction had an estimated price of HKD 26,000 - 50,000 and was sold for HKD 107,950.

Emerging Artists

Zheng Qiongyao and Tung Chiao are emerging artists whose works have performed exceptionally well. Zheng Qiongyao's "Lady" exceeded its highest estimate by a significant margin, selling for HK$60,480 in the "Summer Reverie" auction. Tung Chiao's works in the "Inkspiration" auction also exceeded estimates, indicating strong market interest.

Art Styles

Traditional ink and color on paper were the predominant styles in both auctions, indicating a strong market preference for traditional Chinese art forms.

Price Realization

Above Estimate

Several lots sold for significantly more than their estimated value. Han Meilin's "Cat / Dog" was estimated at HK$30,000 - HK$50,000 but realized a price of HK$100,800 in the "Summer Reverie" auction. Tung Chiao's "Calligraphy" in the "Inkspiration" auction also significantly exceeded its highest estimate, selling for HKD 107,950.

Below Estimate

Some works sold for less than their estimated value, such as Xu Xi's "New York" in the "Summer Reverie" auction, which was estimated to sell for between HK$20,000 and HK$40,000 but only realized HK$12,600. This could indicate a lower investor interest in modern themes compared to traditional Chinese subjects.

Investment Returns

While historical price data is not available in the current dataset, the high price realizations for artists like Ding Yanyong, Han Meilin, and Tung Chiao suggest strong investment potential.

Market Liquidity

Both auctions had a high sell-through rate, indicating strong market liquidity. This is a positive sign for investors looking for both short-term and long-term investment opportunities.

The auctions were held in Hong Kong, a hub for international art collectors, suggesting that the market for Chinese paintings has a broad, potentially global, investor base.

Risk Factors

The broader economic conditions, including currency fluctuations and geopolitical tensions, can impact the art market. Investors should keep these macroeconomic factors in mind.

Future Outlook and Recommendations

Given the strong performance of traditional Chinese art, investors might consider focusing on established and emerging artists in this genre. Keep an eye on upcoming auctions to capitalize on potential investment opportunities.


Summer Reverie: Chinese Paintings Online
Summer Reverie: Chinese Paintings Online gathers prominent private collections from all around the world, including those of the Feng Xiaoyun family, the Italian correspondent Ferraro, the Dr Kuo Fang-Chou Family, and the Dr Lawrence Wong Men Koy Family from Singapore. The auction presents diverse s…

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