Andy Warhol's China photographs set for landmark Phillips sale in Hong Kong



2017-02-16 16:13:21

Phillips is set to host an exhibition and auction of unique Andy Warhol photographs, taken during his visit to China in 1982.

The collection of more than 200 photos will be sold together at auction for the first time, following a landmark public exhibition in Hong Kong.

Warhol became fascinated by Chinese culture in the 1972, when he began producing iconic portraits of Chairman Mao, and in October 1982 he finally paid a visit to Hong Kong and mainland China.

Warhol recorded his trip through photography and in his dairy, including this entry which recalls his arrival in Hong Kong:

"Arrived in Hong Kong, evening. It was hot and muggy, Florida-type weather. Twelve hours’ difference in time, so you didn’t have to change your watch, which was kind of great."
During this 11-day visit he took hundreds of photographs, ranging from famous landmarks such as The Great Wall and Victoria Peak, to the mundanities of everyday life in Hong Kong and Beijing.

(Images: Phillips)

(Images: Phillips)

Now these photographs will be exhibited together in China for the first time, before being offered in a special auction the following month.

"This exhibition 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, which have never been offered for sale in their entirety before," said Jonathan Crockett, Head of 20th Century & Contemporary Art and Deputy Chairman for Phillips Asia.

"This collection will not only appeal to followers of Warhol and collectors of photography, but to anyone with an interest in or connection to China over the past few decades.

"These candid shots are dynamic, exciting and fun but also weighty in their historical importance, as Warhol was able to immortalise China during a transitional phase in the country’s history. After 35 years, it is an honour to be able to bring this collection back to the region whence they originated."

The public exhibition of Warhol's photographs takes place at the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong from March 20 until April 2, followed by the auction on May 28.

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