A myriad of Chinese ceramics, paintings and contemporary art will go under the hammer at the Sotheby’s autumn auctions series in Hong Kong.

A highlight will be the sale of a Beijing-Enamelled Pouch-Shaped Glass Vase of the Qianlong Period (1711-99). Enamelled glass vessels were by far the most complex and demanding of all works of art commissioned at the Beijing Palace Workshops. This vase is said to be the most successful example.

The auction of “The Gillion Crowet Collection” brings together iconic works by foremost contemporary Chinese artists including Zeng Fanzhi, Zhang Xiaogang, Liu Ye, Yue Minjun, Fang Lijun, Zhou Chunya and Wang Guangyi.

Assembled by Baroness Gillion Crowet, the collection features important and exemplary works that define contemporary Chinese art over the last two-and-a-half decades.

“As one of the last distinguished private European collections of Chinese contemporary art, the Gillion Crowet Collection comprises definitive works by the most iconic artists, offering a concise and comprehensive view of the top of the genre,” said Yuki Terase, head of Contemporary Art, Asia, Sotheby’s.

The auction will present 30 masterworks estimated to be worth more than US$9,000,000 on October 6.

The Gillion Crowet Collection, the brainchild of Baron and Baroness Gillion Crowet, dates back to the 1960s. After a visit to China in 2004, Baroness Gillion Crowet assembled representative works by the most influential contemporary Chinese artists. They document one of the most important chapters in Chinese art history amid a transformative socio-politico-cultural scene.

For more than a decade, the collection was housed and exhibited in a historical building in Brussels, “La Moutarderie Nationale”, a former mustard factory, which formed a distinctive setting for the collection.

Major works include Liu Ye’s “Smoke”, which is the counterpart of two other epochal crimson-hued canvases from 2001-2002. One is part of the M+ Sigg Collection and another is in a private collection, after fetching a record price in a 2013 auction.

“Smoke”, at 178cm by 356.5cm, is one of the largest Liu Ye’s paintings to appear at auction.

Liu is best known for his colorful, stylized images of children with large heads, round faces and thin bodies, looking sweet and innocent. However, the painter is telling a totally different story through the bright, cheerful hues.

Other highlights include Zhang Xiaogang’s “Big Family No.16”, a rare piece a with five-person composition from the artist’s era-defining “Big Family” series, and Yue Minjun’s “Kite”, a critical early painting from the artist’s renowned oeuvre of laughing figures.

The Modern Art Evening Sale on October 5, features Sanyu’s “Nu Rose sur Tissus Chinois and Leonard Tsuguharu Foujita’s “Jeune Femme au Petit Chien,” representing the resounding style of the two Asian masters of Ecole de Paris from the 1920s to 1930s.

“Nu Rose sur Tissus Chinois” reveals the beauty of Sanyu’s distinctive nude painting.

Not only does the delicate back of the nude resonate with Western classical masterpieces, but it also exemplifies the artist’s unique expression of exaggerated deformation.

Inspired by the East, the elaborately decorated textile underneath the figure enhances the depth of the painting, creating a more compelling image.

“Jeune Femme au Petit Chien” showcases Foujita’s “milky-white nudes” style in the Parisian art scene. The painting of a fair-skinned lady is imbued with the graceful ambience of the East. It portrays a deeply romantic atmosphere.

Event info

Date: October 3-8

Venue: Hall 1, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

Address: 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Enamel vase is highlight of auction series

 Zhang Xiaogang’s “Big Family No. 16”

Enamel vase is highlight of auction series

Liu Ye’s “Smoke”