Liu Xiaodong's Disobeying the Rules leads host of record bids at $8.5m

Sotheby's has seen records tumble at its Modern and Contemporary Asian Art sale in Hong Kong, with Liu Xiaodong's Disobeying the Rules selling in top spot.

Xiandong's pieces often focus on China's migrant workers, with social concerns prevailing in his work

The sale took place on October 5, with the 1996 work selling for $8.5m, a new world record for the artist.

Depicting a naked group of migrant workers on a truck, the work is one of Liu's most representative pieces, displaying an early use of migrant workers as a theme and expressing his social concerns.

It has been displayed at several of Liu's most important exhibitions, including the 1997 Venice Biennale and the 1998 group exhibition Representing People in the UK.

The sale was met with a good reception in Hong Kong, with many works achieving prices far beyond estimate, and no fewer than nine new artist records set.

Zao Wou-Ki is one of China's foremost artists, with his record standing at $14.7m

Zao Wou-Ki brought the second highest bids of the sale, with intense competition for his Debut D'October pushing the work far past its $4.5m high estimate to sell for $7.6m.

However, the price could not best the record for Zao Wou-Ki's work at auction, which stands at $14.7m following Sotheby's Beijing Art Week in 2013.

An identical price to Debut D'October was seen by Fang Lijun's Series 2 No. 4 - a new record for the artist at auction.

"Tonight's Modern and Contemporary Asian Art - Evening Sale was a vibrant success, achieving well in excess of the high estimate," said Kevin Ching, Sotheby's Asia CEO.

"Among the many thrilling moments were the bidding wars for Zao Wou-Ki's Debut d'Octobre (Beginning of October), which had been off the market for nearly 50 years, and for Fang Lijun's Series 2 No. 4 from the collection of Guy and Myriam Ullens de Schooten, both of which nearly doubled their high estimates and the latter achieving an auction record for the artist as well."

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