November 8, 2005

China parrot painting picks up record price

BEIJING (Reuters) - A painting by an 86-year-old Chinese
master has gone under the hammer for a record 30 million yuan,
highlighting soaring world interest in Chinese art.

The work by Wu Guanzhong depicting a cluster of colorful
parrots sitting on tree branches smashed the previous record
price for a Chinese ink painting of 23 million yuan for a 12th
century masterpiece by the Song Dynasty emperor Huizong.

"Wu Guanzhong has successfully melded Chinese and Western
artistic traditions," said Ma Zhefei, marketing manager from
China's Poly Art and Culture Co., which ran Monday's auction in

"His style is very popular now," he told Reuters,
explaining the painting's hefty price tag.

Wu lived in Paris for three years before returning to China
in 1950 to work and teach.

The painting, which also set the record for a single work
of contemporary Chinese art, was bought by an Indonesian man of
Chinese descent, Ma said.

He added that he saw no end in sight to the surging prices
for fine Chinese art.