Beijing Poly Autumn Auction: Making Worldwide Chinese Contemporary Art Auction Record
In the afternoon of November 21, 2006, during the Chinese Contemporary Art auction, artist Liu Xiaodong¡¯s gigantic masterpiece ¡°Three Gorges: Newly Displaced Population¡± won the attentions of art collectors and connoisseurs from all over the world. When Chinese director Jia Zhang-Ke won this year¡¯s Golden Lion award in the Venice Film Festival, people started to pay close attention to this painting, which is thematically related to the award winning film ¡°Still Life¡±. In addition, the high estimated price between 8 millions to 10 millions RMB had many people interested in the fate of this painting in the auction world.
Around noon, the auction hall on the third floor of The Asia Hotel was already filled with collectors and buyers. These visitors soon took up all 800 seats; many late comers had to stand through the entire auction. As it gets closer and closer to the auction item 375, ¡°Three Gorges: Newly Displaced Population¡±, more and more people crowded the floor. With the announcement of its starting price at 6.5 millions RMB, every body in the hall came to an abrupt silence. Soon, the price was being raised rapidly from 6.8 millions to 8 millions RMB, when the next offer reached 10 millions RMB, a loud applaud broke out from all directions. As the offers gotten higher and higher, some buyers started to drop out of the raise. It was soon a competition between two Chinese bidders. ¡°17 millions, 17.5 millions, 18millions, 19 millions,¡± the auctioneer announced with a rising tone. Visitors were turning their heads from the two corners of the room where the two bidders were seated, hoping to see a higher price being offered. Another thunder-like applaud shook the floor when the painting reached the price of 20 millions RMB. History has been made. The value of this painting has been marked as the highest in the Contemporary Chinese Painting auction record.