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    Sale 2617

    Chinese 20th Century Art (Evening Sale)

    30 November 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 572


    Price Realised  


    (YU BEN, 1905-1995)
    Plum Blossom
    signed and titled 'Yee Bon; Plum Blossom' in Chinese (lower right)
    oil on wood
    61 x 76 cm. (24 x 30 in.)
    Painted in 1969

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    Yee Bon started painting when China experienced tumultuous change. The rising of new societies and the influences traditional Chinese art faced from Western expressionism all contributed to the development of Yee's artistic thought. "I always thought that Chinese people educated in Western art should link our own arts and cultures with it as an important aspect to continuing our western education and understanding of our own culture". True to his word, Yee made many attempts to maintain techniques of traditional landscape painting, practicing traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy in order to centre himself and find inspiration within his own culture, before transitioning and expressing them with Western art techniques. Yee was very good at depicting scenes and never stopped the practice of painting landscapes. Like everything Yee did, he pursued it with a dogged determination and did not confine himself to any topic, theme or genre, allowing his craft to mature, develop through composition, theme and colour, fully exacting Yee's personality and character.

    1969s Plum Blossom (Lot 572) is a rich composition and classic representation that shows Yee's years of practice and research. The plum blossom is not only a traditional Chinese symbol of a person of pure and elevated character, the visual image "scattered shadows crossing each other", a line from ancient poetry, is also clearly presented through the 45-degree angle composition, where the branches tilt lovingly and the plum flowers are in full bloom. Color is also used with amazing ingenuity: the warm pure white snow on tree branches and a few clean yellow strokes effectively highlight the exposure of sunshine, bringing out the refined temperament of the pink plum blossoms with the grey blue background, filling the painting with simplicity and elegance.

    Yee's landscape pieces fully present his strong love and emotional commitment to Chinese territory, people and their homes. Just as the concept he deeply believed in and kept throughout his career that "art should be combined with the emotions of the people", his paintings describe not only directly visual landscapes of the mountains and rivers, but also a pure depiction of Yee's fierce love, strong emotion and deep understanding towards his homeland and the working people.


    Collection of artist's family


    Lingnan Art Publishing Co., Works of Yee Bon, Guangzhou, China, 1994, p. 126. (illustrated)
    Caves Art Center, Yee Bon, Taipei, Taiwan, 1997, p. 131. (illustrated)