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In response to the current climate, Sotheby’s has launched “Contemporary Showcase,” its new digital initiative comprised of a new series of boutique online auctions.

Modeled after a dynamic “pop-up shop” concept, the online auction adopts a fast-paced auction format with varied thematic presentations. Recently, it has unveiled its latest exhibition under this initiative – manga. The selling exhibition offers  an exciting collection of unique illustrations and original Animation Celluloid Pictures (cel-ga). Featuring some of the most beloved characters from popular animation series such as Pokémon, Dragon Ball, Astro Boy and Anpanman, these unique drawings and cel-gas are from some of the most prestigious animation houses such as Studio Ghibli and Toei Animation. Given that manga is a worldwide cultural phenomenon spanning comic books, anime and gaming, it seems like a fitting theme for Sotheby’s online auction. With its influence seen in different fields ranging from fashion, film to contemporary art, manga seems to be a new trend in collectible art.

“During this unprecedented time, Asian collectors have enthusiastically participated in our online sales programme, driving record results that demonstrate the resilience of the Contemporary Art market. Our new ‘Contemporary Showcase’ series responds to this success, and we are confident that the new initiative will bring new and exciting opportunities for our audiences, both in Asia and worldwide.” – Yuki Terase, Head of Contemporary Art, Asia of Sotheby’s

Jungle Emperor Leo by Mushi Production, Leo Animation Cel

According to Sotheby’s, “with swift turnaround between consignment and sale, the series meets the needs of both sellers and buyers in the rapidly evolving market, while allowing [us] to continue to bring exciting and ahead-of-the-curve offerings to clientele.” As a response, 60 unique drawings and Animation Celluloid Pictures will be offered for auction online while an additional 95 pieces will be presented in a selling exhibition at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Gallery (by appointment only). For people still reluctant to leave their homes, Sotheby’s is offering an interactive virtual tour so viewers can browse through the exceptional collection inside the gallery. This exciting 360-degree experience will be available on Sotheby’s website for any manga fans and art lovers to browse at their leisure.

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Florence Tsai
Senior Editor
Born and raised in Hong Kong and educated in New York, Florence has been living life in the fast lane, getting to know contemporary artists and famous fashion designers on the go. Aside from designing jewellery and having an unquenchable love for beauty, Florence enjoys dancing, wake surfing and hiking in her spare time.