You might be more familiar with Western artists like Picasso, Dali, Renoir or Andy Warhol, but what about Asian ones such as Nara Yoshitomo, Kusama Yayoi or Murakami Takashi?
Well, these Japanese artists may well become even more popular thanks to Est-Ouest, Japan’s oldest auction house, which will be offering some of their works of art for sale at its first Singapore auction at Artspace@Helutrans on 25 and 26 January 2013 (Friday and Saturday). Previews are from 23 to 25 January 2013.
In total, 334 lots are on offer and these are valued at more than $11 million. There will be a mix of works of art, including Pablo Picasso’s “Bearded Man”, Warhol’s “Hearts Pink” and “Marilyn Monroe”, and Salvador Dali’s bronze Persistance de la Memoire.
Highlights from Japanese artists include Nara’s “Young Leaf”, Murakami’s “Mushroom” and Kusama’s “Greape”.
Only a few timepieces are on offer and among these will be an A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia, an Audemars Piguet diamond and gold Royal Oak and a 1922 Hermle bronze clock with a marble base.
Est-Ouest held its first auction in Japan in 1984. In 2008, it ventured into Hong Kong. “The 1984 auction was the first in Japan’s history and we were the first Japanese auction house to enter Hong Kong,” says Takashi Seki, founder and president of Est-Ouest.
Though Est-Ouest will be organizing a major auction in Japan comprising more than 1,000 lots, Seki wanted to make a start in Singapore, hence the auction in January 2013. More than 80% of the consignors are Japanese, according to Seki.
Interestingly, there will also be a “Golden Tea Ceremony Room” which required 15,000 sheets of 23K gold leaves and 26.1kg of 24K gold painstakingly put together by skilled craftsmen.
It is understood that Seki himself will perform a tea ceremony in this room at a VIP reception before the public previews.
This lot is a key highlight of the auction and is definitely worth viewing, not just for art collectors but tea connoisseurs. Its estimated value is between US$2.5 and US$3.5 million.