Here Are 3 Trends That Show the Hong Kong Auction Market Is Booming for International Art

We examine three trend lines from the recent slate of Hong Kong sales to determine where the market is headed.

Like a massive Companion balloon in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the mind-boggling $14.8 million paid for a KAWSpainting in Hong Kong earlier this month upstaged every other result from Sotheby’s recent series of sales in the city. But it turns out a welter of other head-turning market activity took place in the shadow of that hulking figure.

Sotheby’s sales—held at the same time as a buoyant, if uneven, Art Basel Hong Kong—exceeded expectations, surpassing the high estimate of $428 million to generate $482 million, the second-highest total in the company’s history in the city. (All totals include premiums unless otherwise noted.)

But select big numbers only tell us so much. To put these results into context, we dove into the data to determine how the market in Hong Kong has evolved over the past decade—and where it’s headed next.


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