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The modern and contemporary art auctions have been delayed and moved to the other side of the world.

Sanyu, Quatre Nus (1950s). Oil on masonite, 100 x 122cm. Courtesy Sotheby's.

Sotheby's modern and contemporary art auctions will no longer take place in Hong Kong this spring due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The Modern Art Evening Sale and Contemporary Art Evening & Day Sales have been bumped back from 5–7 April until 16 April, and they've been moved to the other side of the planet.

Kevin Ching, CEO of Sotheby's Asia, said, 'we have made the strategic decision to continue to hold our major Modern and Contemporary Art auctions in April but relocate them to New York, and to postpone the balance of our spring auctions to early July in Hong Kong.'

Ching said that April in New York was the best alternative for consignors of contemporary and modern art, and that the auctions would be scheduled at times that would make it easy for clients in Asia to participate. New York is 13 hours behind Hong Kong.

Highlights of the auctions include Yoshitomo Nara's Keep Your Chin Up (2001) for an estimated US $2.3–3.6 million, and works by Liu Ye, Tomoo Gokita, Eddie Martinez, Sanyu, and Zao Wou-Ki. An exhibition of these pieces will travel to Jakarta 3–5 March, Hong Kong 27–28 March, Taipei 4–5 April, and New York 13–15 April.

Other categories Sotheby's was set to auction off in Hong Kong in April, including Chinese works of art, classical and modern Chinese paintings, Southeast Asian art, jewels and watches are still scheduled to take place in the city, but have been pushed back until the summer.

'[We] have decided to postpone those auctions until early July when we can safely hold a traveling exhibition across Asia and present our sale week in Hong Kong,' Ching said. —[O]

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