Iris Miao joined Bonhams as Senior International Consultant in October 2013. She is responsible for the collection, authentication and appraisal of paintings and calligraphic works for the two live and multiple online auctions each year in Hong Kong.
In her role, Iris has taken a strategic approach to curating our bi-annual sales, focusing on quality over quantity with pieces that are fresh to the market and of impeccable provenance. Her journalistic insights – together with her understanding of Chinese history, culture and classical literature – equips her with a unique perspective into interpreting this distinguished genre of Chinese art. The Hong Kong saleroom has grown quickly into an exciting and credible source for fine paintings, with the Chinese Paintings department's sales totalling close to HK$400 million between 2017 to 2021.
Among Iris' sale highlights is an exceptional calligraphy couplet in running script by Zhang Daqian which sold for HK$7,812,500 in June 2021, the second-highest price at auction for a calligraphy work by the artist. She also orchestrated The Reverend Richard Fabian Collection of Chinese Paintings I in October 2019, totalling HK$29 million, and several esteemed European and American private collections including the UCCL Collection Of 20th Century Chinese Paintings which fetched over HK$10 million with 10 lots.
Prior to Bonhams, Iris worked at Sotheby's in Hong Kong and in New York as Head of Department. There, she handled a number of significant collections, including the Ching Yuan Zhai Collection of Professor Emeritus, James Cahill and quite a few important masterpieces by artists of the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, among which a number of paintings fetched record prices. In addition, an exquisite album from her sale is now in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.