Phillips Presents Hong Kong Auction Of Rare Andy Warhol Photographs
In October 1982, the master of pop art, Andy Warhol, came to Hong Kong as a guest of Alfred Siu, an industrialist who was opening a nightclub in Central.
The late American artist, whose pop art paintings of Chairman Mao remain among his most celebrated depictions, alongside those of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley, stayed at the Mandarin Oriental's Room 1801 and partied with Hong Kong’s top socialites before a few days of sightseeing in Beijing ensued.
This little-mentioned trip was the source of the 200-plus unique and rare photographs and hand-drawn works that now form the Warhol in China exhibition which, for the first time, will be presented in their entirety and auctioned by Phillips at the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong on May 28.
Bids are expected to start at HK$50,000 for shots featured in the prized collection, which includes photographs, unique stitched works, and three hand-painted pieces.
The collection will first be exhibited at a public preview, offering a rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of Hong Kong and Beijing through Warhol’s eyes. The unique series of photographs show everything from The Great Wall and Victoria Peak, to the most unassuming corners of Hong Kong and Beijing.
Taken at a significant time, the photographs capture a developing China, one that was on the cusp of social and economic reform. This is coupled with Warhol’s new artistic development of stitched photography, which he began in 1982, the same year of his visit.
“This auction presents a rare opportunity to acquire photographs of Andy Warhol’s seminal trip to Hong Kong and Beijing in 1982 by the master of Pop himself,” says Jonathan Crockett, head of 20th Century and Contemporary Art and Deputy Chairman for Phillips Asia.
“Warhol was able to immortalise China during a transitional phase in the country’s history. The collection will not only appeal to followers of photography, but to anyone with an interest in or connection to China over the past few decades.”
Warhol in China
Auction: 6pm, May 28
Preview: 10am – 6pm, May 25 – 28
Venue: Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road, Central
For more information on the sale, check out Phillips Hong Kong’s e-catalogue