A work of art by Zhang Xiaogang became the world’s most expensive contemporary Chinese painting, fetching 79 million Hong Kong dollars (10.1 million U.S. dollars) at an auction in Hong Kong, Sotheby’s said on Monday.
The painting “Forever Lasting Love” sold for more than double its estimated price in fierce bidding at the auction on Sunday night.
The painting features three scenes of semi-naked figures in a sparse desert-like background surrounded by symbolic images.
It was one of 105 lots from the collection of renowned Belgian art collector Baron Guy Ullens.
The collection also set a record for a single-owner sale of Chinese contemporary art, bringing a total of more than 427 million Hong Kong dollars (54.77 million U.S. dollars).
“The legendary Ullens collection represented the visualisation of the Chinese nation’s history through works of art, with many works which traced the birth of contemporary Chinese art in the 1980s,” said Evelyn Lin, Sotheby’s head of contemporary Asian art.
The highlight of the series will be on Thursday’s auction of the Meiyintang collection, which is considered to be one of the grandest collections of Chinese art formed in the last century. It is expected to bring between 81 and 121 million U.S. dollars.