At its marquee London evening sale on July 2nd, Christie’s supplied a operate that was so significant the auction property couldn’t healthy it into their King Road headquarters for the preview. Interested collectors experienced to book a time to take a look at Christie’s off-website storage warehouse in northeast London for a closer search at Condition of Staying (2016), a sculpture measuring practically 10 toes very long by 10 ft huge, and a lot more than four ft tall (prior to factoring in the similarly huge plinth it sits on) by the Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota. The piece, which functions five thousand outdated keys suspended in a dense world wide web of purple thread, eventually sold for £287,500 ($396,000)—nearly double its high estimate. That outcome was also a $150,000 leap from Shiota’s past auction record, set much less than a thirty day period previously at a Phillips and Poly Auction working day sale in Hong Kong.

Shiota’s profile has been on the rise given that her star-creating switch symbolizing Japan at the Venice Biennale in 2015. On Artsy, demand from customers for her operate commenced to consider off in 2019 when the quantity of collectors inquiring about her perform tripled calendar year on yr 2021 is her major 12 months on the platform so far, with the range of inquiring collectors by now surpassing previous year’s file-setting total. Tellingly, secondary-current market selling prices for her perform have kicked up a notch in the previous 12 months. Her function to start with surpassed the $100,000 mark in December 2020, and has due to the fact carried out so six much more periods. On the principal market, charges for her works—especially those past her iconic constructions stuffed with threaded webs—remain comparably economical. At the 2020 edition of The Armory Clearly show, Galerie Templon offered new bronze sculptures of hers for prices in between $34,000 and $45,400. At last month’s virtual edition of Frieze Los Angeles, König Galerie was offering a the latest function in watercolor, crayon, and thread on paper for €6,600 ($7,800).
Ha Chong-hyun, a core member of the portray movement and a titan of the Korean art scene (he served as the director of the Seoul Museum of Artwork from 2001 to 2006), has also noticed a surge in key-current market demand in recent many years. Interestingly, that demand has not translated to the secondary marketplace (but). On Artsy, the quantity of collectors inquiring about his operate has risen just about every 12 months significantly less than two-thirds of the way as a result of 2021, it is already his biggest yr on the platform. The amount of inquiries peaked in May perhaps when New York’s Tina Kim Gallery opened its third solo clearly show of Ha’s perform, showcasing colorful compositions produced in the past ten years that marked a departure from his most legendary, monochromatic paintings.
Soon after decades of showing principally in Asia, Ha had his very first solo displays in Europe in the 1990s, then in the U.S. beginning in 2014. Given that then, he has come to be a fixture at international art fairs, where by performs from his seminal and ongoing “Conjunction” series—which he begun in the 1970s by pushing paint by way of burlap and hemp fabric from the back, somewhat than implementing it immediately to the entrance, of a canvas—regularly fetch six-figure sums. Most a short while ago, at Artwork Basel in Hong Kong in May well, Korea’s Kukje Gallery offered 4 “Conjunction” works for charges concerning $143,000 and $155,000 every, though Almine Rech sold two of his paintings for prices involving $130,000 to $200,000 each. Works from Ha’s “Conjunction” series dominate the secondary current market for his do the job, accounting for eight of his 10 largest . Apparently, only one particular of those people results has been established since 2018. The two greatest sales of his perform at auction date from the exact Sotheby’s sale held in Hong Kong in November 2018: Conjunction 74-24 (1974) set his record when it surpassed its superior estimate of HK$2 million (US$255,000) to offer for HK$2.7 million (US$351,000). As desire for Ha’s do the job proceeds to swell on the major industry, hope auction residence professionals and collectors to line up “Conjunction” functions for sale in the coming months.