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Kim Whanki’s abstract painting leads Christie’s Korean sales in Hong Kong

A painting by Kim Whanki was sold for about five times more than the highest estimate, leading the sales of Korean art at Christie’s evening sale of Asian works Saturday and Sunday in Hong Kong.

Kim’s “Montagne Bleue (Blue Mountain)” was sold at HK$13.8 million ($1.8 million), more than five times its high estimate of HK$2.5 million. It was the highest sale price of the 43 works of Korean artists on offer on the weekend.

Kim’s other painting “Montagne” was sold for more than double its top estimate.

Dansaekhwa paintings also sold well, proving its emerging popularity in the international art market. 

“Montagne Bleue (Blue Mountain)” by Kim Whanki (Yonhap)
“Montagne Bleue (Blue Mountain)” by Kim Whanki (Yonhap)

Yun Hyung-keun’s “Umber-Blue” went under the hammer for HK$2 million, higher than the top estimate of HK$1.5 million.

Lee Ufan’s “From Point,” which received the high sale price in previous auctions, had a hammer price of HK$8.7 million below the lowest estimate.

“Korean modern and contemporary art works presented in the auction were 100 percent sold while art of the Japanese Gutai movement also attracted bidders from across Asia,” said Eric Chang, international director of Christie’s Asian 20th-century and contemporary art department, in a press release.

Christie’s raked in HK$63 million, selling 98 percent of the Korean works.

The Asian 20th-century and contemporary art evening sale featured 94 major works of Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Southeast Asian artists. The most expensive work was an oil painting by Chinese painter Sanyu (1901-1966) titled “Chrysanthemums in a Glass Vase,” sold at HK$82 million.

By Lee Woo-young (