Cover We round up 12 notable artworks that you should keep an eye out for at the Phillips x Poly Auction Contemporary Art & Design Hong Kong Sales (Photo: Courtesy of Phillips)

The landmark joint sales bring together a mixture of western and Asian artists, among them Jean-Michel Basquiat, Yayoi Kusama, Gerhard Richter and Yoshitomo Nara

Following the announcement that Yoshitomo Nara's historically important work, Hothouse Doll is headlining the Phillips x Poly Auction 20th Century Contemporary Art and Design Hong Kong Sales, Phillips and Poly Auction have unveiled additional notable artworks featured in the upcoming sale.

Scheduled for December 3 and 4, the landmark joint sales brings together an incredible line-up of western and Asian artists including sought-after names such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Gerhard Richter, Chu Ten-Chun, Zao Wou-Ki, Yayoi Kusama, Christine Ay Tjoe and Matthew Wong. The sales will also be the auction debut in Asia for several up-and-coming artists, including Lucas Arruda, Emily Mae Smith, Samlan Toor, Titus Kaphar and Derek Fordjour.

The live auctions will be streamed to bidders worldwide on the Phillips website and app, as well as Poly Auction's app and WeChat mini programme.

"We are delighted to announce a distinguished line-up of exceptional works by some of the most sought after western and Asian artists. We continue to celebrate and showcase artists of the moment and are excited to mark the auction debut in Asia for emerging names. These auctions mark a notable stage in our trajectory of growth and underscore Phillips’ intentions to expand our presence further in the important Asia market. We look forward to welcoming the international collecting community to these landmark auctions this December," said Jonathan Crockett, Chairman of Phillips Asia.

Ahead of the upcoming sales, we round-up some of the most notable works that you should keep an eye out for.

See also: On The Block: Top Lots At Para Site's Annual Fundraising Auction

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Abstraktes Bild (682-4) (1988) by Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter's Abstraktes Bild (682-4) is a pristine example of the artist's celebrated series of "squeegee" paintings. The dramatic trails of explosive red, luminous greens and darker blues and greys create a strikingly textured and iridescent image. Richter used contrasting colours to build the visual illusion that the bright red belongs to the foreground, while the colder blues and greys remain in the back. 

Date: December 3, Evening Sale

Estimated price: HK$20,000,000–30,000,000

See also: 50 Biggest Art Collectors In Asia

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Composition No.65 (1960) by Chu Teh-Chun

Composition No. 65 is representative of Chu Teh-Chun's early abstract period. He painted it in 1960, a year which is considered to be the prime of his career, when he transformed his style from the representational to the abstract. The work has a vertical format that emphasises his references to scroll-mounted Chinese classical landscape paintings. He used canvas as the base and oil as his medium, perfectly transforming a cornerstone of Chinese tradition using a classically western form of expression.

Date: December 3, Evening Sale

Estimated price: HK$15,000,000–20,000,000

See also: Chinese Artist Liu Wei Discusses His Upcoming Exhibition And Quest To Create Thought-Provoking Artworks

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Ancient Scientist (1984) by Jean-Michel Basquiat

This work was painted in 1984, a time when 24-year-old Jean-Michel Basquiat had solo museum shows and collectors and renowned galleries worldwide clamour for his art. This particular piece draws inspiration from Old Master paintings of famous figures and demonstrates Basquiat's fascination with Picasso: it is reminiscent of the latter's Masks. The xerox papers at the bottom of the work feature flowers, referencing both the titular scientist and the artist's interest in reproducing existing images. The artwork is a powerful example of the Basquiat's ability to create heavily textured work with layers of meaning. 

Date: December 3, Evening Sale

Estimated price: HK$50,000,000–70,000,000

See also: This Painting Just Sold For US$100 Million At Auction

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River at Dusk (2018) by Matthew Wong

Matthew Wong's dreamlike landscapes and still lifes have captivated art lovers worldwide. His colourful paintings reference key figures and moments in art history—from Chinese literati painting to the expressive brushwork of Vincent Van Gogh and Chaim Soutine to the gestural approach of the abstract expressionists. River at Dusk is an enthralling work depicting a romantic scene of a river at dusk. It is lined with lush foliage bathed in golden light. The artwork was created a year before Wong's passing and truly offers an immersive look into the contemplative wonderland that existed in his imagination. 

Date: December 3, Evening Sale

Estimated price: HK$7,000,000–10,000,000

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Untitled (2007) by Yoshitomo Nara

Alongside Yoshitomo Nara's Hothouse Doll, which is one of the main draw of the sales, is Untitled, another important work by Nara. To date, it is the largest artwork by Nara to appear at auction. The artwork is striking and flaunts the artist's signature motif of the wide-eyed child, stealing the hearts of the viewers with those glowing cosmic eyes rising out of a pool of pastel ripples. Untitled is the result of years of perfecting the subject of a lone figure, which here is rendered in exquisite detail. The artist retains the unique texture and grain of wood boards and eventually created a graphic effect that's entirely distinct from other wood board creations in both colour use and use of space. 

Date: December 3, Evening Sale

Estimated price: HK$24,000,000–36,000,000

See also: This Yoshitomo Nara Painting Sold For HK$196 million At Sotheby’s Hong Kong

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Fruits [EPSOB] (2001) by Yayoi Kusama

One of the most famous contemporary artists in the world, Yayoi Kusama is particularly well known for her still life paintings. Fruits [EPSOB] is a classic example of the form and also includes some of her other iconic motifs: her infinity net pattern and polka dots. The artist's lifelong fascination with the natural world began during her childhood, when she spent time in the seed-harvesting field of her family's plant nursery. Drawing inspiration from these experiences, she creates bright yet simple depictions of everyday produce.

Date: December 3, Evening Sale

Estimated price: HK$7,000,000–12,000,000

See also: Museums Around The World Are Sharing Their Most “Zen” Art On Social Media

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DANCE 2 (2017) by MADSAKI

MADSAKI is best known for his Wannabe series, in which he recreates Old Master paintings using his trademark spray paint technique. If there's one artwork that best represents Henri Matisse's influence on the artist, it's Dance, which is currently housed in New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). In Dance 2, MADSAKI pays homage to the French painter by retaining the original composition and movement of Matisse's work, but executes it in his graffiti-inspired style.

Date: December 3, Evening Sale

Estimated price: HK$2,000,000–3,000,000

See also: MoMA Design Store Hong Kong Launches The Record Shop

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When Black and Red Could Hardly be a Circle (2013) by Christine Ay Tjoe

When Black and Red Could Hardly be a Circle showcases Christine Ay Tjoe's inimitable style, with shows her innate understanding of the relationship between line, space and colour. The Indonesian artist executed this artwork in 2013, a seminal year for her because it was when her style evolved from figuration to abstraction. Some of her most famous works were created that year, including the auction record-holder Small Flies and Other Wings, which was sold at Phillips in 2017. In this artwork, she retains some vestiges of figurative painting by including the same fly-like creatures that were seen in Small Flies and Other Wings, but this present work places greater emphasis on expressing pure, brute emotion in whirling streaks of colour.

Date: December 3, Evening Sale

Estimated price: HK$4,000,000–6,000,000

See also: Para Site Announces A New Grant To Support Hong Kong Artists

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Infinity-Nets (QRTWE) (2007) by Yayoi Kusama

Another artwork by Yayoi Kusama to appear in the sale is Infinity-Nets (QRTWE), an exceptional example of her celebrated series.

The Infinity Nets works cemented Kusama's place as an icon of contemporary art. This particular artwork was first unveiled at Kusama's two-part exhibition at Victoria Miro in London in 2007. It references her earliest white net paintings, which were presented at Brata Gallery in New York in the late 1950s and helped propel her to stardom.

Date: December 3, Evening Sale

Estimated price: HK$15,000,000–20,000,000

See also: Heaven And Earth: Inside The Mind Of Japanese Artist Chiho Aoshima

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Fairy Tale (1985) by Zhang Xiaogang

An array of contemporary Chinese artworks will also be offered across the evening and day sales. Leading the pack is Zhang Xiaogang's Fairy Tale, an iconic work among the artist's early paintings from his Demon period. The tone of the painting is still very much filled with the sense of mystery associated with the Demon series, and its dreamy backdrop, large areas of bright colours and religious imagery highlight the sorrow and struggles Zhang explored in the early Demon works.

Date: December 3, Evening Sale

Estimated price: HK$6,500,00–8,500,000

See also: What Chinese Artist Liu Xiaodong's Paintings Reveal About Migration And Community

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Untitled (2013) by Lucas Arruda

At only 37 years old, Lucas Arruda is among Brazil's most sought-after artist and has received widespread acclaim for his landscapes and seascapes. Untitled is one of the largest pieces to appear at auction and is from the artist's Deserto-Model series. It beckons the viewer to come closer and invites them to peek into the meticulously applied brushstrokes, which bring to life a complex rendition of a horizon at the cusp of dawn or dusk. Fewer than ten Deserto-Model paintings have ever been offered at auction before, making Untitled a rare find.

Date: December 3, Evening Sale

Estimated price: HK$1,500,000–2,500,000

See also: A Rare Lot Of NASA Photographs Is Hitting The Auction Block This November

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Untitled (Self-Portrait) (1997) by Liu Ye

Leading the day sale of the auction is Liu Ye's Untitled (Self-Portrait), which was completed in 1997, after the artist's return from Berlin to China. It depicts a chubby toddler with a roundish head rendered in a cartoonish style.

Date: December 4, Day Sale

Estimated price: $5,000,000–7,000,000

See also: 10 Hong Kong Art Exhibitions To See November In 2020

Phillips in Association with Poly 20th Century & Contemporary Art and Design Hong Kong Sales will be held on December 3–4 at the JW Marriott. The Evening Sale will be on December 3 from 7 pm while the Day Sale will be on December 4 at 11 am.

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