A new world record price for Chinese contemporary art was set at the Beijing Poly Auction on Tuesday by an oil painting that sold for 22 million yuan (US$2.75 million).
The 10 x 3 meter piece made by avant-garde Chinese artist Liu Xiaodong depicts a panorama of the construction site of the Three Gorges hydro-power project in central China's Hubei Province.
Liu's work smashed the previous record set by a canvas of Chinese artist Chen Danqing which was sold for US$1.47 million at Sotheby's New York three months ago.
Liu started "documenting" the resettlement of people from the area of the gigantic Three Gorges Project in a series of paintings in 2003. The auctioned piece New Three Gorges Resettlers dates from 2004.
Liu's paintings trace the evolution of the construction project, portraying vivid scenes of people from villages soon to be submerged by the damming of the reservoir.
The piece was offered at 6.8 million yuan at the Poly Auction. A woman only known as the owner of a private business finally bought it for 22 million yuan.
Prices fetched by contemporary Chinese at important auctions in New York, Hong Kong and Beijing continue to mount. Art works totally brought in some 1 billion yuan (US$125 million) in auction transactions in China in the first half year.
(Xinhua News Agency November 24, 2006)