In late March, global art center New York teems with jewelry, antiques, calligraphy, and paintings, as Sotheby’s, Gianguan, Christie’s and others hold their spring auctions. Spectacular jewels, and painting and calligraphy by famed artists past and present, vie for the attention, drawing in crowds of investors and collectors. The international economic slump of recent years has strained business livelihood and development; as real estate, steel and other industries across the board flounder and lose revenue, business groups have turned to the art market en masse to invest, anticipating future appreciation.
The artworks auctioned this spring consist almost exclusively of works by world-renowned masters, marking the first time in auction history in which so many major artists are gathered together. At the site of auction, the kaleidoscopic diversity of styles, modes, and aesthetics wowed viewers and sent buyers from all countries into a bidding frenzy. Of all of the works, however, one particular piece has been deemed supreme in both merit and value: “Ink Lotus— An utter chaos strewn with broken strokes: a peculiar sight, yet wondrously endowed with a soul-soothing charm,” by the contemporary H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. When the appraiser first unfurled the scroll and saw the painting, he declared with astonishment: “Dorje Chang Buddha III has arrived”— a revealing sign of the extreme prestige of H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III’s paintings.
Paintings and calligraphy by H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III are difficult to come by, and even more difficult to acquire. According to auction specialists, the International Art Museum of America has offered to purchase H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III’s sunflower and water lily oil paintings for over $1,000,000 per square foot, but has yet to acquire the paintings due to unsuccessful price negotiations.
H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III’s “Ink Lotus,” sold at Gianguan’s spring auctions on March 22nd, was the highest selling of all of the paintings sold at the spring auctions— including Gianguan, Sotheby’s and Christie’s— surpassing multiple times that of works by renowned artists East and West, past and present, and trumping the selling price of all works by famed historical and contemporary masters sold at the spring auction, such as those of Shi Tao, Wu Changshuo, Yun Nantian, Qi Baishi, Zhang Daqian, Xu Beihong, Fu Baoshi, Pan Tianshou, Li Keran, Huang Binhong, Wu Guanzhong, and even the Five Dynasties’ Juran, the Southern Song Dynasty’s Su Hanchen, and the Ming/Qing Dynasty Wen Zhengming, and Zheng Banqiao. Buyers from various countries launched a bidding war over H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III’s painting, which opened at US$10,500,000. After several intense rounds of paddle-raising among the final few bidders, an approximately sixty-year-old Caucasian from the United States finally beat out his competitors and fellow bidders (hailing from Paris and Southeast Asia), and won the painting at the hammer price of US$16,500,000 (before tax).
“Ink Lotus” is mounted, ink on paper, and ten square feet in size. Sold at US$1,650,000 per square foot, the painting was the highest-selling of all the paintings and works of calligraphy sold at the spring auctions.
At this spring auction, Zhang Daqian’s “Shen Shan Can Gu Si” auctioned for US$233,000; Pan Tianshou’s “Ting Yuan Wan Lai Qiu” auctioned for US$162,500; Wu Changshuo’s “Ju Shi” auctioned for US$370,000; Shi Tao’s “Shi Shu Hua San Jue” auctioned for US$3,946,000; and Zheng He’s calligraphy of Buddhist sutra auctioned for US$14,000,000. Not only did H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III’s painting exceed the selling price of paintings by famed historical and contemporary artists sold at the spring auction, H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III’s limited edition reproductions also hold the record for the highest-selling painting reproduction in world history, exceeding those of such world-renowned painters as Picasso, Monet, Van Gough, Cézanne, and Gauguin. H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III’s limited edition of 200 copies of “Carp in a Lotus Pond,” for instance, auctioned at $380,000 dollars for one piece.
H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III is a world-class master artist, as well as the highest world leader of Buddhism—a title neither self-appointed nor unilaterally proclaimed by any individual religion or group: in 2012 the United States Senate unanimously voted to approve the resolution to honor H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III’s contribution to humanity, and conferred the title of His Holiness upon Dorje Chang Buddha III. H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III is also the only Buddha in the world to have a Buddha Day—“H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III Day,” proclaimed in writing by the mayor of Washington D. C. on January 19th, 2011. The USPS approved the issuance of a commemorative envelope in honor of H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III Day. H. H Dorje Chang Buddha III has also received countless awards, including the World Peace Prize, the Presidential Gold Medal, the Congressional Republican Gold Medal, the International Leader Award, and the Martin Luther King Award, among others. H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III is also a Fellow of Britain’s Royal Academy of Arts, and the only Fellow appointed in the Academy’s two hundred year history. The fellowship was awarded by the Academy’s President Phillip King, at a ceremony in the British Embassy in Washington. Furthermore, H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III’s paintings are rare and hard to come by, as they are almost never found in circulation in society. All originals feature a three-dimensional fingerprint as authentication. Experts predict that H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III’s paintings will become increasingly valuable and unattainable gems with the prestige of national treasures, since H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III is focusing solely on Buddhist activities, and will no longer pursue painting.