A Chinese taxi driver-turned-billionaire just bought a $170 Million painting

chineseartNext Shark:

A former Chinese cab driver who hustled his way to becoming a billionaire just set the world record for the second highest price ever paid for a work of art an auction with the purchase of a $170.4 million painting.

The painting, Amedeo Modigliani’s “Nu Couché”, or “Reclining Nude”, was sold on Monday at Christie’s in Manhattan to Chinese billionaire Liu Yiqian who bid for the painting over the phone. “Reclining Nude” is now the second highest price ever paid for a work of art at an auction behind Pablo Picasso’s “Women of Algiers (Version O)”, which sold for $179.5 million at Christie’s last May.


Yiqian, 52, was a middle school dropout who struggled to survive during China’s Cultural Revolution by selling handbags on the street before becoming a cab driver. In the 1980s and 1990s, he made a fortune off investing in stocks for real estate and pharmaceuticals. Now worth $1.4 billion, Yiqian is an art collector and the owner, along with his wife, of two art museums in Shanghai where they are known to be flashy art collectors.

Yiqian plans to bring the pricey painting to display in one of his museums so that Chinese people don’t have to travel across the world just to see it.

The eccentric art collector made headlines last year when bought the famous Ming DynastyChicken Cup,” a finely crafted teacup with a rooster drawn on it, for $36.3 million. Yiqian paid for the cup by using his black American Express Centurion card and swiping it 24 times. Yiqian later posted a picture of himself sipping tea from the antique cup.


Yayoi Kusama becomes the most expensive living female artist with the $7.1 million sale of ‘White 28′

Raking in an earth shattering $853 million in profits, Christie’s Post War and Contemporary Evening on Wednesday smashed its May auction’s $745 million profit record, selling 75 of 80 listed works.

Proof she’s still killing the game at 85, Japanese installation artist and painter Yayoi Kusama set a record of her own, becoming the most expensive living female artist of all time with the $7.1 million sale of ‘White 28′ from her iconic 1960 ‘Infinity Nets’ series. The Louis Vuitton collaborator topped a record set three years earlier with the $6.6 million sale of Cady Noland’s ‘Oozewald’.

The New York auction also saw the $26 million sale of Jeff Koons‘ ‘Balloon Monkey (Orange)’ and two pieces by Andy Warhol –’Triple Elvis [Ferus Type]‘ and ‘Four Marlons’ for a dizzying $150 million.

NIGO Talks About Pieces for His Upcoming Sotheby’s “NIGO® Only Lives Twice” Auction Part 3


Wrapping up our three-part series on NIGO‘s upcoming auction for Sotheby’s, we present a particularly nostalgic item from his collection. This ’60s-era Batmobile variant is one of over 30 in his possession and features a unique navy and red body with a lime green windshield. Its die-cast metal construction and hand-illustrated box art design should bring back memories for anyone who grew up with toy cars and the original series. And of course, the retro Batmobile wouldn’t be complete without detailed likenesses of the Dynamic Duo — Adam West behind the wheel and Burt Ward in the passenger seat.

For more on the auction, check it out over at Sotheby’s and be sure to catch the other two videos in the series with NIGO’s pastel ceramic sculpture here and his iconic Dollar Sign Necklace here.

Sotheby’s “NIGO® Only Lives Twice” Catalogue

Image of Sotheby’s “NIGO® Only Lives Twice” Catalogue


After an exclusive first look at some of the items in NIGO® & Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction, we are now treated with the accompanying catalogue that details the full collection. The premium book features some words from Pharrell Williams and offers not just images of the items but some exclusive lifestyle shots that illustrate NIGO®‘s character.

Although the auction is taking place in Hong Kong, the catalogue can now be picked up at all Sotheby’s locations worldwide.

For more information on the upcoming auction that will run from October 3 to October 6, head over to Sotheby’s site.


Image of Sotheby’s “NIGO® Only Lives Twice” Catalogue

Image of Sotheby’s “NIGO® Only Lives Twice” Catalogue

Image of Sotheby’s “NIGO® Only Lives Twice” Catalogue

Image of Sotheby’s “NIGO® Only Lives Twice” Catalogue

Image of Sotheby’s “NIGO® Only Lives Twice” Catalogue

Image of Sotheby’s “NIGO® Only Lives Twice” Catalogue

Image of Sotheby’s “NIGO® Only Lives Twice” Catalogue

Image of Sotheby’s “NIGO® Only Lives Twice” Catalogue

Image of Sotheby’s “NIGO® Only Lives Twice” Catalogue




President of Japan’s Yodobashi Camera buys real moon camera for just under a million dollars


RocketNews 24:


The only camera to go to the moon and back has recently gone under the hammer at Galerie Westlicht in Vienna and was given to the highest bid of €660,000 (US$910,000) to one Terukazu Fujisawa, the president of Japanese electronics chain Yodobashi Camera.


Fujisawa’s new camera is a Hasselblad 500 and went on the Apollo 15 mission in 1971. They were selected because of the ease with which lenses and film could be changed by the astronauts in their space suits and the harsh landscape of the lunar surface. Although several cameras were taken to the moon, this was the only one that made it back as all others were abandoned on the moon to save weight.

Some American readers of this news were a little upset that a Japanese businessman bought up another piece of American history (the other most recent acquisition being Colonel Sanders’ suit).  Others who weren’t trapped in the 80s were puzzled as to who owned the camera previously as such an artifact would seem to belong somewhere like the Smithsonian and NASA is generally very protective about what comes back from their missions. This led to the age-old theory that the moon landings were all elaborate hoaxes.

The auctioneers originally expected the camera to sell for €300,000 ($414,000), but the camera unexpectedly sold for over double the projected amount. It remains to be seen what Mr. Fujisawa intends to do with his new purchase. Judging by his line of work he’ll probably keep it in his own private collection, but perhaps he will put it on display at a Yodobashi Camera shop somewhere in Japan.

Source: Yahoo! News (English) via Gizmodo (Japanese)


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President of Japan’s Yodobashi Camera buys real moon camera for just under a million dollars



Fierce auctioning for signed Limited-Edition Lady Gaga Hello Kitty doll


 We often like to cover the more absurd things that get put up for bid on Yahoo! Auction Japan, but this time something has come up that may be of genuine interest to either Lady Gaga or Hello Kitty fans. If you happen to be a fan of both then this is downright priceless.

Currently an extremely limited edition Hello Kitty doll is the subject of fierce bidding.This Hello Kitty is done up in fashion inspired by one of the biggest musicians in the world today, Lady Gaga.

The doll was created by long-time Sanrio Hello Kitty designer Yuko Yamaguchi. Here we see Ms. Kitty sporting a blonde wig along with a white pants suit decorated with rhinestones and clamshells. She’s also wearing a pair of dangerously tall platform shoes to give her a more leggy appearance. Aside from the doll up for auction, Lady Gaga herself is the only other owner of one.

The auction is held by Tomodachi, a non-profit organization dedicated to building ties between Japan and the USA through Tohoku Earthquake relief and rebuilding efforts and cultural exchange programs. All proceeds from the dolls will go to the Tomodachi Stella Adler Performing Arts Fellowship.

During a press conference for her latest album Art Pop, Lady Gaga mentioned the auction while holding a Hello Kitty doll.

Then suddenly, the crowd went into an uproar as Lady Gaga and Hello Kitty engaged in a same-sex, inter-species, inter-reality kiss. We’ve come to expect such a controversial and salacious spectacle from Hello Kitty, but it’s truly shocking to see Lady Gaga do something so bold and daring.

As of this writing the bidding stood at 2.2 million yen (US$21,000) but is changing quickly. The auction will continue until 23 December at 10:00pm (UTC+9:00).

Source: Yahoo! Auction Japan via IT Media (Japanese)
Tomodachi: Official Website (English)
Video: YouTube – Universal Music Japan

▼ This Hello Kitty is also autographed by Lady Gaga and there’s a 50% chance it was kissed by her.

Check out this link:

Fierce auctioning for signed Limited-Edition Lady Gaga Hello Kitty doll



Bruce Lee jumpsuit fetches $100,000 at Hong Kong auction


An auction of Bruce Lee memorabilia in Hong Kong sold off more than $280,000 worth of kung fu cinematic history, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The showpiece was Bruce Lee’s yellow-and-black jumpsuit, which he wore in the 1972 classic “Game of Death.” The suit was one of two Lee commissioned from his Hong Kong tailor. The polyester shrunk a bit in a botched wash cycle and its zipper suffered a tear during a fight scene with Korean martial artist Ji Han Jae, but the wear and tear didn’t stop one anonymous Internet bidder from offering the highest bid of $100,000.

The yellow suit with black stripes down the sides went to an unidentified telephone bidder at Spink auction house‘s Thursday night sale. His iconic nunchaku sold for another $70,000.

The sale took place 40 years after Bruce Lee’s death from a brain swelling in 1973 at the age of 32 before he could complete the film, which was released posthumously in 1978.

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Bruce Lee jumpsuit fetches $100,000 at Hong Kong auction