Bidding Frenzies Ignited at New York Spring Auctions, the Highest-Priced Artwork “Ink Lotus” Fetched 0.51B NT$ (16.5M US$)

Published on March 24, 2015

(Reported by ETtoday, published at:


Figure (Provided by Gianguan Auctions): Partial details of Ink Lotus, all original paintings by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III feature a three-dimensional fingerprint as authentication

This week, global art center New York teems with jewelry, antiques, calligraphy, and paintings, as Sotheby’s, Gianguan, Christie’s and others hold their spring auctions. Spectacular jewels, and painting and calligraphy by famed artists past and present, vie for the attention, drawing in crowds of investors and collectors. The international economic slump of recent years has strained business livelihood and development; as real estate, steel and other industries across the board flounder and lose revenue, business groups have turned to the art market en masse to invest, anticipating future appreciation.

The artworks auctioned at these spring auctions consist almost exclusively of works by world-renowned masters, marking the first time in auction history in which so many major artists are gathered together. At the site of auction, the kaleidoscopic diversity of styles, modes, and aesthetics wowed viewers and sent buyers from all countries into a bidding frenzy. Of all of the works, however, “Ink Lotus— An utter chaos strewn with broken strokes: a peculiar sight, yet wondrously endowed with a soul-soothing charm,” by the contemporary H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III received very high appraisal and comments. When the appraiser first unfurled the scroll and saw the painting, he declared with astonishment: “Dorje Chang Buddha III has arrived.”

Paintings and calligraphy by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III are difficult to come by, and even more difficult to acquire. According to auction specialists, the International Art Museum of America has offered to purchase H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III’s sunflower and water lily oil paintings for over $1,000,000 per square foot, but has yet to acquire the paintings due to unsuccessful price negotiations. H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III’s “Ink Lotus,” sold at Gianguan’s spring auctions on March 22, was the highest selling of all of the paintings sold at the spring auctions — including Gianguan, Sotheby’s and Christie’s.

Buyers from various countries launched a bidding war over H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III’s painting, which opened at US$10,500,000. After several intense rounds of paddle-raising among the final few bidders, an approximately sixty-year-old Caucasian from the United States finally beat out his competitors and fellow bidders (hailing from Paris and Southeast Asia), and won the painting at the hammer price of US$16,500,000 (about 510,000,000 NT$, before tax).

The painting “Ink Lotus” is mounted, ink on paper, and ten square feet in size. Sold at US$1,650,000 per square foot, the painting was the highest-selling of all the paintings and works of calligraphy sold at the spring auctions. At this spring auction, Zhang Daqian’s “Shen Shan Can Gu Si” (Ancient Temple Hidden in Deep Mountain) auctioned for US$233,000; Pan Tianshou’s “Lily” auctioned for US$1,565,000; Shi Lu’s “Chun Mai Du Li” (Outstanding Spring Plum) auctioned for US$3,525,000; Wu Changshuo’s “Ju Shi” (Chrysanthemum and Rock) auctioned for US$370,000; Shi Tao’s “Shi Shu Hua San Jue” (Three Unique Accomplishments of Poetry, Calligraphy, and Painting) auctioned for US$3,946,000; and Zheng He’s calligraphy of Buddhist sutra auctioned for US$14,000,000.

Figure (Provided by Gianguan Auctions): Full view of Ink Lotus, by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III