Sotheby’s to hold whisky and modern art auction in Singapore

Sotheby’s is set to stage its first-ever live spirits auction in Southeast Asia alongside a sale of Modern and Contemporary Art in Singapore.

Highlights from these offerings will be available for public viewing in a preview exhibition from 5 to 9 June 2024 at Conrad Singapore Orchard, followed by the two live auctions on 9 June.

Sotheby’s will present a
Modern and Contemporary Art Auction in Singapore featuring a selection of works that explore how art-making and artistic creation bring artists and viewers into an idyllic realm under the theme of Paradise.

While the notion of ‘Paradise’ is often associated with a place or destination, it may also exist as a state of mind or reflection, achieved through the bliss of an artist’s practice.

This auction also marks the first offerings by Sotheby’s in Asia under the implementation of the new fee structure, announced earlier this year.

The new simplified commission structure aims to make it both easier to calculate fees and more accessible to buy in Sotheby’s auctions than at any other international auction house.

Jasmine Prasetio, Managing Director, Sotheby’s Southeast Asia, said: “2024 marks an innovative year for Sotheby’s globally as the company celebrates its 280th Anniversary. With revolutionary and exciting initiatives around the world, from implementation of the new fee structure to the opening of Hong Kong Maison this July, we continue our investment in Southeast Asia to curate another week-long showcase of our finest offerings starring two live auctions.”

Sotheby’s Singapore Modern and Contemporary Art Auction will feature 48 offerings by artists from Southeast Asia and beyond.

This includes celebrated Singaporean pioneers such as Cheong Soo Pieng and Georgette Chen alongside iconic modernists from the region such as Affandi, Le Pho, Fernando Zóbel, Theo Meier, Pratuang Emjaroen andTran Van Ha.

Other modern highlights include significant works by Chinese masters Wu Guanzhong and Chu Teh-Chun. The auction will feature exciting works by international contemporary artists including Roy Lichtenstein, Jeff Koons, Yayoi Kusama, Lee Bae, as well as Beatriz Milhazes.

Works by Georgette Chen, Anita Magsaysay-Ho and Beatriz Milhazes are also now on view at the ongoing Venice Biennale.

The auction is led by Paghuhuli Ng Mga Manok (Catching Chickens) by Anita Magsaysay-Ho, a pioneering female artist from the Philippines.

Painted in 1962, Catching Chickens embodies the artist’s signature pastoral scenes that celebrate the joyful, communal spirit of women with a great sense of movement and colour.

Held in an important private collection for a decade, the painting is impressive in its large scale, as works by the artist over one metre in size from the 1960s rarely come to market.

Other key highlights include the auction debut of
White Orchids (Phalaenopsis) by the Singapore artist Georgette Chen, whose delicate paintwork of elegant orchids juxtapose the impressionistic floral rendition of Wu Guanzhong’s Field Chrysanthemums.

Singapore has become one of the most flourishing markets for spirits and wine. This growth was reflected in Sotheby’s inaugural spirits online sale last December, which saw 30% of the participating bidders new to the company.

Catering to this increasing demand, and as part of our ongoing commitment to cultivate a growing collector community, Sotheby’s Fine and Rare Whisky Auction features 190 lots with a total combined estimate of SG$1.4M / US$1.04M.

The sale shines a spotlight on a series of representative collectible whiskies from Japan, including the remarkable Karuizawa 1965 Japonisme for La Maison Du Whisky’s 60th anniversary and the Karuizawa 1965 Sherry Cask, whose names are etched in the annals of Japanese whisky history.

As the oldest and most limited Hibiki ever crafted, the exquisite Hibiki 35 Years Old Kutani Decanter is a key highlight. Each decanter is a masterpiece adorned with porcelain containers crafted by the renowned artisans of Arita and Kutani, celebrating 400 years of Japanese porcelain artistry.

Presented alongside an array of Japanese whiskies is a fine selection of Scotch whiskies, including the rarely seen set Bowmore Trilogy 1964 set, containing the Bowmore Black, White and Gold, a highly sought-after set released by the renowned distillery in 2007 and 2008.

George Lacy, Head of Wine, Sotheby’s Asia, said: “We are pleased to host our first-ever live auction for Fine and Rare Whisky in Singapore, dedicated to presenting exceptional spirits, many of which are seldom seen in the market. In 2023, bidders in Asia led the spirits market at Sotheby’s, responsible for more than 50% of the value of all bids placed globally. This live auction in Singapore furthers our commitment to continue expanding our sales in the region, fostering closer connections to collectors across all of Asia’s key growth markets and allowing us to bring the finest bottles to our client throughout the region.”

Sotheby’s is committed to supporting Singapore’s thriving art and lifestyle ecosystem, and has held live Modern and Contemporary Art auctions every year since its return in 2022.

In other parts of Asia, Sotheby’s Hong Kong saw successful results in its Spring auction series. This season also saw a greater number of buyers compared to the past four seasons, with 75% of buyers from Asia, of which the top five transactions came from Greater China, United States and Singapore.



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