News & Views

Bidder vs buyer performance breach

27 March 2018

Auctioneers and people selling at auction sometimes have problems with bidders and buyers. Specifically, sometimes a bidder retracts his bid prior to the completion of the sale, and likewise sometimes a buyer refuses to close the deal.

VIDEO: Latiff Mohidin the trailblazer

22 March 2018

Watch the highlight of the opening reception here. Look out for more videos from the exhibition.

Artist, poet and writer Latiff Mohidin, 76, is paving the way for other Southeast Asian artists to be noticed in Europe with the staging of a retrospective show of his Pago Pago works at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

An auction disclaimer I saw in court

22 March 2018

It’s not often that I can disclose specifics from court cases in which we’re involved. However, with permission in this particular case, I’m able today to reveal one particular passage which I argued on the witness stand was preposterous.

The essence of this case was the auctioneer was providing estimates of value on items being put up for auction. One such item was estimated as having a value of $1,000,000. The item subsequently sold for $1,050 ($998,950 less than this estimate — over 99% less)

Rare Picasso Works in HK exhibition & sale

22 March 2018

Panorama: A New Perspective – a selling exhibition featuring over 40 paintings and sculptures by the foremost names in Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary art – will open to the public from 29th March to 3rd April, alongside Sotheby’s Spring 2018 Hong Kong Sale Series. 

Sanyu work to debut in HK auction after 60 years in private hands

20 March 2018

Sotheby’s Evening Sales of Modern Art and Contemporary Art offer over 90 lots and have a combined estimate in excess of HK$640 million (US$82million).

The auctions will consist of a line-up of Western Contemporary and Modern Art, as well as an array of rare works by Modern and Contemporary Asian masters.

Leading the Modern Art Evening Sale is a portrait work by Sanyu (1901-1966) entitled Nu endormi, an important oil painting from the pinnacle of the artist’s career.

Upbeat contemporary art market

15 March 2018

There was intense bidding for choice lots at The Edge Auction 2018: Southeast Asian Art, which indicates that despite the weak market, there is still demand for fine art. Held on March 11, the auction saw sales of RM1.48 million with more than half of the 124 lots sold.


The Edge Auction 2018 ended on an upbeat note with a record sale for Malaysian contemporary artist Chong Siew Ying — her Laugh 1 (The Champion) went for RM86,268, including the 10% premium.

Laughter leads at The Edge Auction

12 March 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: The Edge Auction 2018: Southeast Asian Art ended with applause and laughter yesterday when Chong Siew Ying’s Laugh 1 (2002; acrylic on canvas) fetched RM78,000 (excluding the 10% buyer’s premium), more than 2½ times above its low estimate of RM29,000.

The exuberant portrait, from Chong’s series of laughing faces, is painted in black-and-white tones against a pink background. It is the first piece from the series, done mostly in Paris where she was based then, to be put up for auction.

Giving my advice to auctioneers

5 March 2018

I recently returned home from what has become my annual “auctioneer convention season” including conferences and other events in Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, Illinois, Texas and West Virginia. For most of these events, I served as a speaker/presenter talking about a myriad of auction-related issues.

Edge auction preview

5 March 2018

At the launch of The Edge Auction 2018 preview last Wednesday, Au Foong Yee, managing director and editor-in-chief of and managing director of The Edge Galerie, said: “With 124 lots on offer, there is a wide range of artworks from all genres to choose from.

“These include contemporary, modern, batik and Nanyang-style artworks to alternative mediums such as lithography and gelatine silver print as well as mixed-media works to serve the wide spectrum of buyers in the art market.”