SINGAPORE: Singapore artist Tan Swie Hian’s oil and acrylic painting "When the Moon Is Orbed" has been sold for RMB 18,975,000 or S$3.7 million.
This took place at the 2012 Poly Autumn Auction’s Modern and Contemporary Chinese Art Evening Sale on Sunday.
This puts Tan, a Cultural Medallion winner, as the first living Singaporean artist to hit above the million—dollar mark in an auction.
Before this, the ink art painting "Singapore River Scene" by Lim Tze Peng, 89, held the record for the most expensive painting by a living local artist. On 27 May in Hong Kong, it fetched HK$620,000 (about S$101,800) at the Christie’s auction.
Sixty—nine—year—old Tan painted "When the Moon Is Orbed" in Beijing earlier this year, after his successful solo exhibition in Beijing in October last year.
Tan said he has been recognised in China much earlier in his artistic endeavours, with a number of public artworks created by him in different parts of China, but acknowledges that this is the first time his work has appeared in an auction in China.
"In auctions, to be placed with names like Zeng Fanzhi, Luo Zhongli and Zhou Chunya, China’s biggest names in contemporary art, is indeed recognition," Tan said. "China is emerging as the global art centre and it is a rare honour to be embraced by collectors there."
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