Art auction in Việt Nam goes pro

Update: May, 23/2016 - 09:00
Bên Dòng Sông Đỏ (Alongside the Red River) by Đào Hải Phong.
Viet Nam News

Often critisised as lack of professional procedure, the artists and art dealers in the country are trying to make art autions more professional. The first art auction in Việt Nam with five art works will take place in Hà Nội on May 28. Featured in the auction will be works of Hoàng Phượng Vỹ, Quách Đông Phương, Đào Hải Phong; and a pair of jars by Bát Tràng craftsman Phạm Anh Đạo.

HÀ NỘI — Art for art’s sake. There goes the first art auction in Việt Nam, set to take place on May 28, not for charity purposes.

Among the works are paintings Happiness by Hoàng Phượng Vỹ, Uplands Fairies by Quách Đông Phương and Alongside the Red River by Đào Hải Phong. The starting price for the paintings is between VNĐ50 million and 120 million (US$2,300 and $5,300).

Along with the paintings, a pair of Tứ Linh (Four Sacred Animals) jars by artisan Phạm Anh Đạo from the Bát Tràng pottery village, produced in 2010, will also be presented at the auction. The starting price for the jars is expected to be between VNĐ900 million and 1 billion ($40,300 and $45,000).

Đạo’s workshop did something that many generations of Bát Tràng artisans had wished to do. They successfully handcrafted two jars, each weighing 500kg. They were each 2.7m in height, with a diameter of 1.3m, with a cracked enamel – imitation of ancient ceramics. Đạo spent more than a year to make the jars by hand and took 70 hours to bake them.

Additionally, painter Lê Thiết Cương also sends an altar from the late 19th century to the auction with an expected starting price of VNĐ65 million to VNĐ80 million ($3,000 to $3,600).

Auction in the field of art aims to honour the value of labour and creativity of the authors as well as establishing a transparent market for domestic artworks, according to Đỗ Thị Hồng Hạnh, director of Lạc Việt Company, the organiser of the event.

 “The idea of holding the special auction occurred many years ago, with a range of preparations held early on, including collecting valuable works, connecting with experts, and inviting advisers,” she said.

Earlier, artists often sold paintings at galleries. Sometimes, artworks were auctioned for charity purposes, so these auctions did not reflect the true value of the items, she added.

The auction process is being done in line with current legal provisions that makes it different from all previous charity auctions.

The author or owner of the artworks will receive 100 per cent of the value of the works at the starting price they set. The additional amount from the auction will be divided according to the provisions in the contract between the auction organisers and property owners.

The organisers must ensure that products on auction are exclusive with clear origin and proper dating.

The auction, which will take place at Sheraton Hanoi Hotel, is expected to attract between 40 and 50 bidders.

The organiser has offered profiles enrolled for the event and started receiving registration dossiers from now until May 28 at the Lạc Việt Company, 49 Văn Cao Street, Hà Nội.

Anyone interested in watching the artworks in advance can register at the company. — VNS

Tiên Nữ Vùng Cao (Uplands Fairies) by Quách Đông Phương.
A pair of ornamental jars created by artist Phạm Anh Đạo will be auctioned in Hà Nội on May 28. — Photo courtesy Lạc Việt Company