HK$2 Million for Invader’s Replica of Hong Kong Phooey Work
A street artwork destroyed by the Chinese authorities and later remade fetched almost HK$2million (US$258,000) at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong last night, the South China Morning Post reports.
The piece, titled Alias HK_58, was created by French street artist Invader and cropped up in the exclusive Happy Valley area of Hong Kong at the beginning of 2014. The anonymous artist spent a short but intense period in the city where he produced 35 works all on a similar theme (see French Street Artist Invader Scuffs Up Hong Kong).
However, soon after its creation, the work was removed for safety reasons by the Highways Department, sparking public outcry among citizens. Fans of Invader and his work accused the government of double standards in removing iconic works of street art and destroying historical buildings whilst simultaneously spending billions of dollars developing a new art and culture district in Kowloon.
The move was also criticized by the artist, who decided to recreate the piece. In a statement, Invader declared “What message would you send to your citizens? What modern cultural heritage do you want to leave them?”
The ceramic mosaic, which depicts 1970s American cartoon character Hong Kong Phooey—a mask wearing, kung fu expert dog—was sold for HK$1.96million (US$253,000), exceeding the pre-sale estimate of HK$1.5million (US$193,000). The piece, which was acquired by a European private collector, was the largest work from the artist to appear at auction and is a world record for Invader.
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