First Beijing Art Auction of 2008

Classical-style calligraphy and brush painting could be this year’s trend in the market, according to Bloomberg’s report on Beijing’s first major art auction of 2008:

Yesterday, Rongbao Auction Co. sold 83 percent of the 357 ink and calligraphy works for 28.7 million yuan ($4 million), with more than half the sales at or above the top estimate.

Bidders and buyers, many from Japan, passed up contemporary oil paintings and flocked toward the traditional ink paintings.

“Ink paintings and calligraphy are making a comeback after bottoming out for the last few years,” said Lu Hongmei, deputy publicity manager of the Beijing-based auctioneer. “In oil paintings, the challenge is to bring quality selections and make creative choices for the collectors.”

However, artwork by many of the big names in the contemporary art scene was scarce at this auction with only a few block prints by art auction favorites Zeng Fanzhi and Yue Minjun available for sale.

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