Surprise donation from mainland artist boosts annual fund-raiser

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 November, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 21 November, 2008, 12:00am

In these tough times, it's always nice to have supportive friends. Asia Art Archive and its executive director, Claire Hsu-Vuchot, received a nice surprise recently. As they gear up for their main annual fund-raiser - an auction of donated works by artists to take place at a dinner on November 29 - the arts education and research organisation received a pleasant surprise from one of the nation's best-selling artists.

'We just received a surprise donation from Zhang Xiaogang,' Hsu said. 'It's a 1 metre by 1.3 metre oil painting entitled Yellow Boy in a Sailor Suit and the lower estimate of its worth is HK$2.5 million. Considering the economic situation and the fact that we need to raise 50 per cent of the annual operating budget on the night, we need all the support we can get. We also have 60 other great works by very established artists, like Takashi Murakami, to younger artists, such as Lam Tung-pang.'

In more buoyant times, Zhang's monochromatic big-eyed portrait might go for more than HK$4 million. It still might, if a big spender steps up. But even if you can't afford that and would like to have a look at Zhang's painting and the other works available, the public preview starts today on level 2 of Ocean Centre and runs until Sunday. Then it moves to Sotheby's office on the 31st floor of One Pacific Place, Admiralty, from Monday until Friday. The auction dinner next Saturday at the China Club is already sold out, but if there's a painting on which you want to bid, they accept absentee or phone bids. Contact the AAA at 2815 1112.