Converging Eastern and Western Masterpieces, Wandering Art Movement through New Technology – A Glaring Debut of First Online Exhibition by 20th Century and Contemporary Asian Department, China Guardian Hong Kong
In this Autumn Auction, China Guardian (Hong Kong) is proud to present over 170 artworks. In the special themed section FACES in the Era, we introduce the figurative paintings from 33 artists with their varied interpretation on “Figure”, following the art history from 20th century to contemporary. Starting from the glimmer of figures by Tsuguharu Foujita and Pan Yuliang in the golden era of Montparnasse, following the faith of art revolution by the three Guangdong Masters Lin Fengmian, Ting Yinyung and Guan Liang, as well as Yun Gee and Walasse Ting, who travelled overseas to the U.S to spread the fascination of Chinese art, then to Japanese Artist Yayoi Kusama, Yoshitomo Nara, and surrealism master Giorgoio de Chirico, Pope of Pop Art Andy Warhol, the most noticeable rising contemporary art star—Irish artist Genieve Figgis; Also realism portrait representative Wang Yidong, Ai Xuan and Liuwei. Last but not least, we are honoured to present the largest dual Ju Ming’s sculptures that have ever auctioned in history, Taichi Series: Cloud Hands, Stomp to sense the lively vitality from their postures; and extraordinary refined statue with contemporary spirit made by western artist Antony Gormley and Eastern ArtistLi Chen. The aesthetics of the era unfolds itself through the transition of time.
Other highlights are including 12.05.06 that was achieved in Zao Wou-Ki-Kii-Kichieved in Zao Wou-Ki are sure not to be misMatièatiCentrale by Chu The-Chun in 1994, and milestone masterpieces in artists’ career by Zeng Fanzhi and Zhou Chunya. Separately, we are proudly introduce Shining Stars featuring 9 contemporary artists, Zhao Zhao, Zheng Lu, Liang Jen-Hung and many more who shine with their bold attempt to challenge traditions and explore the unbeaten path. Our highlight exhibition will be taking place in G-Art space, Lippo Centre, Admiralty from September 14th, we sincerely welcome your visit and such a lush collection of pieces are sure not to be missed.
SAILING AGAINST THE WAVES
Yayoi Kusama’s Key Work in the 1970s
The work which created in 1970s, On the Ocean,is the cover lot of our season in this sale. Merging Infinity Nets, dots, and personalised characters all in one, it represents the fantastic imagination of Yayoi Kusama with an unconventional composition: above the ocean where waves are roaring, two magical eyes loom into the view. It also recalls her mindset when she went back to Japan to challenge the conservative art scene in East, marking a meaningful step of the artist’s career.
I REALISE, I AM NOT ALONE
The Debut of Yoshitomo Nara’s IconicElement in 1990s
Abandoned Puppy and Waiting(Diptych) on sale are a typical embodiment of his loneliness in the early 1990s and his art experiments in Germany. The two paintings feature the trademark composition of the artist and two childlike characters. The two kids serve as the prototype of his future series Sleepless Night and Night Walker and pave the way for his style evolvement in later stages. In the twin paintings, Yoshitomo Nara portrayed two children in brown dog costume sitting face to face. One stays in a paper box looking around as if to fend off the concerned glances with his disdainful look. Her mate, in contrast, bendsover to the ground with her head up waiting forcaring attention. The vintage tone may remind the viewer of a letter back in their childhood, letting out the artist’s resentful yet somewhat nostalgic feelings. The girl in Abandoned Puppy takes a well-behaved posture that is in stark contrast with her vigilant look, which shows her polarizing mindset. The dog costume matches the style of his Sleepless Night series afterwards. Her squint,in line with the over-exaggerated characters in Ukiyo-e art, qualifies as an example of his continuation of Japanese traditional art.
ORCHID IN AN EMPTY VALLEY
New International Art Star —Genieve Figgis
As one of the most welcome contemporary artists, the Irish artist Genieve Figgis specializes in transforming luxuriousness Rococo style to romantic life scenes. Carriage (2015) is as a salute to The Black Countess by post-impressionist master Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. She plays fully subverts the traditional aristocratic scene, by replacing the nobility with “working class” carriage driver, alluding to the class contradictions. In the background, the whirl wind-like brush strokes depict an orange-red sky, as if melted flames are about to drip on the ice blue ground. In addition, the coach and driver are completely distorted, as they have been through a turbulent storm. The outline of the figure is surrounded by an earth-yellow pigment, almost as if blended with the flames behind, and this imbues the painting with a flamboyant resplendent style. It could be a warning of an impending revolution and the tense depiction instantly grabs the viewer’s attention.
A ROCK-SOLID BODY OF FLESH AND BLOOD
The Spiritual Cornerstone in Zhou Chunya’sArtistic Journey
Created in 1999,Red Rock is an important exemplar of Zhou Chunya’s early Rock series. The artist was once deeply touched by the amazing landscape of red rock beach in Ya’an. Those rocks are full of grains on the surface and inspire him to create his Rock series since 1990s. The "red rock" even serves as the source of his later world wide renowned series of Peach Blossoms. In this work, the rock center is full of rosy red, grassy green and deep brown colours with thick and steady grains. Apart from shaping the large volume of the rock, this work also captures people’s attention to focus on the close combination of those vivid colours, which forms a rhythm of the swing between red and green hues, and the atmosphere of spring arrival. While the gradual slight colour at the bottom conveys a visual effect of regression, the bright tone on the upper left brings more lively warmness to the cold stone body. The emboss-like brushstrokes further retouch a texture effect close to life beings. The artist involves the western expressionism to the eastern calligraphy tradition, revealing the spiritual power imbued in the nature of rocks.
LOOKING UP AT THESTARRY SKY, CONFIDENTIN ONE’S OWN CREATIVITY
The first ‘Snowscape’ Work by Zeng Fanzhi
A review of Zeng Fanzhi ’s 2002 Chaotic Brush series shows that he has produced only three snowscape works in his career and the auctioned work is both the first and largest such painting. As such, it clearly represents an important change in the artist’s mindset at that time. In Untitled, the snow reflects the morning glow as it flies through the air and falls to Earth, the vivid snowy white, pink and purple surrealist colors coming from the romantic imaginings of memory. From within the dark deep night a rose red hue radiates like the cheek of a young girl, the smudged purple night ensuring the boundless land exudes hope hidden in the darkness of night. The work was inspired by the landscape view outside of the window of Zeng's studio, though the more relaxed structure represents a movement away from the pressure of the twisted roots and gnarled branches in earlier Chaotic Brush series works. The work participated in Zeng's solo exhibition in London Gagosian right after its finished, and was collected by prominent collectors couple Mr. and Mrs. Schull, sponsors of Southbank Art Center, London. It has also participated in artist’s solo exhibition in Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, and selected by Zeng as the cover page of artist’s studio webpage, demonstrates the importance of the piece to the artist. It is the first time it has appeared on auction market ever, and could be a rare opportunity to collectors as a valuable piece in artist’s career.
WHIRLING LIGHTS, GENTLEBRUSHWORK, BOUNDLESS SCENES
12.05.60- A Major Work by Zao Wou-Ki
Achieving the first peak in career and a major leap forward in art creation, Zao Wou-Ki in the "glorious 60s" is often said as an artistic focal point imbued with the Zeitgeist of the times.12.05.60 is a representative of such period. The interplay of yellow, green, brown and black imbues the work with a sense of initial feelings on land and light.The symbols Zao used in his earlier works are transformed into layers of curled, brisk, densely packed lines in traditional calligraphy. By rafting avital nature expression of a powerful cohesiveness and spiritual thoughts in the abstract context of impermanent change, this painting builds compositions on landscape painting to invite the audience to indulge in the spiritual world of infinity.
STROKE RHYTHM, IMPRESSIVE VIGOR
Matière Centrale: the Crystallization of Chu The-Chun’sTravels in the 1990s
Chu The-Chun reached his artistic peak in the 1990s while he set off travelling in Western Europeto derive mental imagery landscape from the Western masters of art. Based on his observations during this time, he completed Matière Centralein 1994, which marks as a milestone of his mastery of brushwork and color use that represent his intangible connections with master painters. Chu separated bright and dark color blocks to integrate the contrary space of the virtual and the physical, light and shadow. He used calligraphy techniques to swing slowly upwards, adding layer to the texture and forming a strong momentum. His brushwork, like a gurgling stream, presented his "mental imagery" poetically in full confidence
A SOUL-STIRRING SYMPHONY
Here Comes Spring by Chu The-Chun
Here Comes Spring is a mélange of calligraphy strokes, color mix and play of light in Chu’s oil paintings. It also features splashes of snow, which epitomize his exploration in the 1980s.The composition takes after the "level distance" landscape paintings in traditional arts. Chu outlined the undulating hills in simple strokes that resemble the “flying white” calligraphy technique. The white embellishment on the mountain top reminds viewers of sprightly musical notes. In contrast, the moss green on earth breaks out the gloomy dark. The ocher and bright yellow paint nurtures the wonder of nature, and the ink morphs into graceful curves. All the colors converge towards the light band at the center, leaving a curiosity-provoking portion of blank space. The fantastic interplay of ink and paint and the contrast of emptiness and fullness work the miracle of spring arrival, inviting us to enjoy the vibrant spring symphony.
Sky Rocking and Grounbreaking, to the Realm of Infinity
Ju Ming’s Largest Dual Sculpture Ever Presented in Auction History
This Season, we are honored to present the masterpiece of Ju Ming’s classic two person sets in Tai Chi,Tai ChiSeries: Cloud Hands, Stomp, the largest bronze pairsculptures in auction history. These sculptures area crystallization of Ju Ming's elaborate explanationof the Tai Chi principles and an embodiment ofthe artist's ambition to influence the world with hisartworks. If placed in an outdoor setting, viewerswill be able to perceive the staggering height (253cm) of theCloud Handson the left, as if a Tai Chimaster was integrated into the universe. TheStomppiece on the right (203 cm), further explores themajestic power of the dynamic balance, combiningthe thick materiality of bronze with the rhythm ofthe stature.
BODY OF LIGHTNESS, HEART OF CLEARNESS
Li Chen in His Pure Land
Pure land has brought Li international fame. In 2004, he joined OPENASIA, 7th International Exhibition of Sculptures and Installations, where he won over the appreciation of Paolo De Grandis,an established Italian curator. De Grandis even went to the length of visiting Taiwan to invite him to the 52nd Venice Biennale. Li hosted Energy of Emptiness at the 2007 Biennale, and Pure Landwas the highlight among the 15 exhibits. This piece has been part of many of his solo exhibitionsafterwards, leaving a lasting impression on viewers with its half-floating posture and the spontaneous mentality it conveys.
THE PEAK OF PERFECTION – IDEAL BEAUTY
A Rare 1950s Masterpiece by Tsuguharu Foujita
The auctioned work Deux Fillettes À La Poupée, whichwas completed in 1954, is one of the artist’s most important works from that period. The girl to the left looks directly at the viewers and is smiling slightly, as if displaying a treasured item of which she is proud. Foujita, deliberately magnifies the size of the doll, placing it at the center of the painting and making sure it takes up much of the scene. We can see the way in which he uses black and white fine lines to depict details; from the doll’s hairstyle to its facial expression, the lace on the clothes to the heart-shaped cross on the necklace around its neck, the pearls decorating the belt to the sewing marks on the arms. The rich attention to detail is truly amazing and among the meticulous and flowing selfconfident lines we can feel how the maturity of the artist enables him to achieve harmony between object and self. After determining the core spirit of the object he is able to attain excellence and focus, his heart and mind in unison when painting. Throughout his life Tsuguharu Foujita painted countless works, but in only six of his oil painting are the central figures holding dolls. When compared to the other four works, this painting is the best example of Foujita's classical milky white skin color, his complex and multifarious use of lines and also has the clearest theme, making it an extremely rare piece.
Ting Yinyung Operatic Figure Masterpiece- King
King of West-Chu showcases Ting Yinyung’s own reflections on modern art discussions as "tradition and reform", "mediums and materials". He takes fiery strokes to highlight the straightforward boldness and charisma of Xiang Yu. This also showcases the influence of Fauvist schools’ importance of "subjective consciousness". At the same time, the artist also abandons the two dimensional figures and decorative stylistic language. Instead he takes the expressive power of color and combines it with ancient Eastern line tradition, tightly intertwining it with the emotions and qualities of the figures. In the painting, Ting uses eye-catching saturated red to emphasize the pridefulness, passion and desire for greatness of Xiang Yu. Moreover, the addition of yellow and orange, traditional colors that indicate elevated status allude to the identity of the figure. The "upright" classical figure composition represents an extension of the artist’s most iconic figure image feature. In his oeuvre, only seven of all oil paintings have operatic motifs. Given that less than 200 oil paintings by the artist are known to exist that makes this a particularly rare piece, which in turn highlights the value of the auctioned work King of West-Chu.
AN ARTISTIC DISCIPLE LIGHTING THE WAY
Human Nature Epics of Aesthetic Education Pioneer Lin Fengmian
During the time in France, Lin Fengmian created a series of works deeply imbued with spiritual power that revolved around "humanism", and sought to apply the Humanitarian ideas of Western philosophy to aesthetic teaching in China in the 1950s. The Passion of Christ on auction comes from the same creative pulse, a theme rarely seen in the market of today.
This painting is created on the occasion of leaving the education field and staying in Shanghai. He deploys geometric forms to demonstrate his profound thinking on personal condition and spirits of the era. In Passion of Christ, Lin Fengmian dilutes the romantic atmosphere and beautiful charm often seen in his earlier figure paintings. The eye-catching "revelatory" light behind the cross and the way it radiates through the oppressive gloomy scene, almost breaks through the confines of the painting. It goes straight to the human heart and lights up the world as if heralding a “New World” after the rebirth of Christ, as the golden rays of light imbue the cold scene with a glimmer of warmth. In this powerful single-point focus composition he places the persecuted Jesus in the depths of the painting, as both a depiction and confession of his own inner pain and suffering. Despite of this, the painting also indicated Lin’s faith to life and art, his devotion to art is not dissimiliar to Christ’s dedication to the ideal.
THE BRILLIANCE OF LIFE AND WISDOM
Yun Gee- Masterpiece Portrait of a Lifelong Love
Portrait of Woman in Chair, which is going to be auctioned for the first time ever in this season, was portrayed by Yun Gee to love of his life, his first wife Princess Paule de Reuss, and was one of his most representative works in his Diamonist paintings. Moreover, Gee only used silk instead of canvas on a handful of works throughout his career, the material was sent by his mother from homeland during the war period, thus was a precious use Gee boldly employs Western oil colors and Western modernist spirit in the background. Indeed, the majestic use of dark green and brown over a large area and the artist’s resolute brushwork enhances the spatial dimensions of the work, utilizing the arrangement of light and shade in the colors to highlight the main figure in the foreground. The figure in the painting has gently placed a book on her knee, revealing that she likes reading. She is dressed in an elegant and graceful manner in a dress that has a "V" collar design with a broad waistband around her midriff, a popular fashion in late 1930s Paris. Although later life pressures forced them to part they remained best friends for the rest of their lives. Despite later remarrying, they still cared about each other, the artist’s left his love and affection on his work, and had kept this reminiscence ever since, as well as his sparkled talent during the war period.
A POEM OF CHANTING, THE IMMORTAL OF THE METAPHYSICAL
The Museum Quality Piece by Giorgio de Chirico
Having influenced painters such as René Magritte and Max Ernst, Chirico is known as the pioneer ofthe Surrealist school. He was considered one of thegreatest artists in 20thcentury, as well as the originof Surrealism. This auction will present the artist’smasterpiece in Rome periodPiazza d’Italia conMonumento a Cavour, which was from his mostwell recognized theme Piazza d’Italia. In this work,he combined the traditional painting style of therenaissance period, integrated the methodologyfrom his favorite philosopher Nietzsche, addingelements from his Metaphysical painting toshowcase the surrealist master’s lifelong passionto art, philosophy, and architecture. Underneaththe white marble sculpture, which symbolizesthe immortality and patriarchy, lies the intimatecommemorate to his father, which broughtmeaningful values to this piece.
THE BURSTING FREE WILL
Zhao Zhao: Constellations
Zhao Zhao is regarded as an irresistible emerging force in the contemporary art world. Constellations presented this time is from the series widely praised by both the Eastern and Western academic circles and is the largest work of the artist in the market so far. The clean, sharp, and powerful lines generate the process of violence, revealing a sense of power on the brink of the outbreak. In contrast, the romantic name Constellations reflects individuals’ aspiration for security today. The huge contrast between theme and media center generates the transformation between violence and beauty, reminding the viewer to generate their free will.
INTERLACED EXTREMES, ANONYMOUS LIBERTY
Andy Warhol’s Ladies and Gentlemen
Ladies and Gentlemen comes from 1970s legendary Ladies and Gentleman series from the Pope of Pop Art, Andy Warhol. This series first went public in the retrospective exhibition of Andy Warhol presented by Tate Museum, London, which demonstrates its significance in artist’s career, as well as its academic momentousness in western contemporary art. The prototype of the painting was drag queen Aphanso Panell. In this work, Warhol integrated the expression techniques of photography and screeprint, setting elements with misplaced proportions, demonstrates the varied identities under the faces. The layers of neon colours and solid brush stroke indicate the social attacks toward transgender group, reveals the observation and doubt from the artist to social issues such as trans genders and racism. The work has kept by Warhol till 1987, his death. Then carefully collected by Andy Warhol Foundation for over 20 years with various authentications, and could be considered as the rarest opportunity to collect Warhol’s work at this moment.