RELEASE: CHRISTIE’S HONG KONG SPRING 2013 CHINESE PAINTINGS SALES HIGHLIGHTS

Hong Kong

CHRISTIE’S HONG KONG SPRING 2013

CHINESE PAINTINGS SALES HIGHLIGHTS 

New Category of Chinese Contemporary Ink Paintings

Introduced Through Private Sale Exhibition 

 

| Fine Chinese Classical Paintings and Calligraphy, James Christie Room, May 27, 10am, Sale 3210 |

| Fine Chinese Modern Paintings, Part I, James Christie Room, May 27, 3pm, Sale 3211 |

| Fine Chinese Modern Paintings, Part II, James Christie Room, May 28, 10:30am & 2:30pm, Sale 3211 |

| Chinese Contemporary Ink – The Beginnings and Beyond Private Sale Exhibitions, May 23 – 27 |

 

Christie’s Art Forum

|Chinese Contemporary Ink: The Art of Perception – Conversation with the Artists, May 25, 11am |

|Chinese Contemporary Ink: The Origin, May 26, 4pm|

 

 

 

Hong Kong – Christie’s Hong Kong Spring sale of Chinese Classical Paintings & Calligraphy and Modern Paintings will take place on May 27 and 28. Comprising 690 lots that are estimated to realize in excess of HK$300 million/US$39 million, the auctions showcase works spanning a long historical timeframe, with wide-ranging estimates that cater for all Chinese paintings enthusiasts. Highlights in the sales include both classical and modern paintings from the Liu Jing Xiu Tang Collection and works formerly in the Dr. K. S. Lo Collection. Meanwhile, the Chinese contemporary ink private sale exhibition will make its second stop in Hong Kong after opening in New York in February 2013, and will feature over 60 paintings including works by six pioneering Hong Kong contemporary ink artists, offering collectors an opportunity to acquire works from this rapidly developing category.

 

MAGNIFICENT PAINTINGS BY CLASSICAL AND MODERN MASTERS 

 

In the Chinese Classical Paintings & Calligraphy sale, the Ming dynasty landscape handscroll River Scenery (Sale 3210, Lot 741, Estimate: HK$8,000,000-10,000,000/US$1,100,000-1,300,000) by Zhou Chen (1460-1535) stands out in particular. In this 20 metre long handscroll, Zhou Chen connected landscape painting with the daily life of the society he portrayed, creating a scene charged with emotion that is not often seen in traditional Chinese painting. Pines, Rocks and Waterfall (Sale 3210, Lot 751, Estimate: HK$2,000,000-3,000,000/US$260,000-390,000) by renowned Qing artist Shitao, reminds us that the artist was forward-looking and a non-conformist, who liked to use unconventional shapes and compositions not often seen at his time, thus encouraging his contemporaries to develop their own styles by challenging entrenched aesthetic norms. Two important lots are Five-character Poem in Cursive Script by Wang Duo, who was a renowned expert in authenticating Chinese paintings and calligraphic works, (Sale 3210, Lot 823, Estimate: HK$2,500,000-3,500,000/US$330,000-450,000), and Ink Lotus by Bada Shanren, who inspired many of the most important modern painters such as Zhang Daqian and Qi Baishi. (Sale 3210, Lot 756, Estimate: HK$1,800,000-2,200,000/US$240,000-280,000). The sale also highlights works by other noted and collectable artists from the classical era, including Wen Zhengming, Lan Ying, Dong Qichang, Wang Hui, Zhu Yunming and Fu Shan.

The Chinese Modern Paintings sale features works by legendary artists such as Zhang Daqian, Xu Beihong, Qi Baishi, Shi Lu, Fu Baoshi, Zhao Shao’ang, Lu Yanshao and Lin Fengmian. From the Liu Jing Xiu Tang Collection, Zhang Daqian’s monumental four-panel Lotus (Sale 3211, Lot 1387, Estimate: HK$10,000,000-15,000,000/US$1,300,000-1,900,000) offers collectors a chance to see the artist's exceptionally large and complex composition of one of his favourite subjects. Fu Baoshi’s Jinggang Mountains (Sale 3211, Lot 1221, Estimate: HK$6,000,000-8,000,000/US$780,000-1,000,000) from the former Dr. K. S. Lo collection is the prime example of landscape painting genre that celebrates revolutionary landmarks. The Jinggang Mountains is a key historical landmark for the communist revolution and the birthplace of the Chinese Red Army. Fu also inscribed Mao's poem on the painting to commemorate the event.  The work was completed just four months before the artist’s sudden death in 1965, and illustrated Fu’s compositional mastery, maturity and his legacy to Chinese landscape painting.

A set of four scrolls by master painter Qi Baishi titled Joy of Country Life (Sale 3211, Lot 1146, Estimate: HK$4,000,000-6,000,000/US$520,000-770,000), is a demonstration of his carefree, simplistic style and his keen observation of life. Using a minimum number of brushstrokes, Qi Baishi depicts fishes, crabs and shrimps, portraying them as full of energy and liveliness—a skillful technique that stemmed from the artist’s liking for village life and his meticulous study of animals and aquatics.

 

TWO IMPORTANT COLLECTIONS ASSEMBLED BY REVERED COLLECTORS 

 

The sale will offer over 150 paintings from the former Classical and Modern paintings collection of Dr. K. S. Lo. Widely known in Hong Kong as the founder of Vitasoy, Dr. K. S. Lo (1910 – 1995) had a passion for Chinese arts and culture. Dr. Lo actively collected Yixing teapots from the 1950s, forming a comprehensive collection that he later donated to the city of Hong Kong, as well as the establishing the K. S. Lo Teaware Museum, now situated in the Hong Kong Park. Dr. Lo was also an experienced collector of Chinese paintings and a keen supporter of emerging artists. Christie's auctioned part of Dr. Lo’s collection in spring 2010 and will offer a new selection this season, featuring works by Xu Beihong, Fu Baoshi and Qi Baishi.

 

The Liu Jing Xiu Tang Collection of Chinese Paintings belonged to Jiangsu-born Mr. Liu Guojun (1887-1978). Mr. Liu ran a textile and dyeing business and was known to be a philanthropist with a love for Chinese painting and calligraphy. The name of the collection was derived from the Chinese saying ‘Jingye Xiushen’, translated as “committed to one’s work and improving oneself”, which was Mr Liu’s lifelong motto. A part of his collection was donated to the Nanjing Municipal Museum and the Changzhou Museum his descendants. The collection consists of 12 paintings and two important highlights: River Scenery by Ming artist Zhou Chen, and four-panel Lotus by Zhang Daqian.

 

CHINESE CONTEMPORARY INK PAINTINGS

Ink painting has been central to the development of China’s art history for over a thousand years. Using brush, ink and paper, artists perfected their skills and depicted their universe, successfully intertwining the ink tradition and the unique aesthetics of Chinese art. Over the past few years, the market for Chinese contemporary ink painting has developed considerably, with growing interest in Europe and America. It has also seen growing interest from younger and more experienced collectors, who have an appreciation of traditional Chinese arts and culture but with a contemporary character.

 

Christie's opened its first private sale exhibition of Chinese contemporary ink in New York this February followed by the non-selling exhibition in Hong Kong last year. The private sale exhibition of this category will travel to Hong Kong during the sale from May 23 – 27. Entitled Chinese Contemporary Ink – The Beginnings and Beyond, this exhibition continues to showcase works by artists Li Huayi, Liu Dan, Xu Bing, Gu Wenda, Yang Jiechang, Qin Feng, Zheng Chongbin and Qiu Zhijie. In this second stop in Hong Kong, Christie’s has expanded the original scope to present six pioneers and visionaries who planted the seed of contemporary ink in Hong Kong as early as the 1960s. Lui Shou Kwan, Irene Chou, Luis Chan, Liu Kuo-sung, Wucius Wong and Leung Kui Ting have actively led new ink movements that influence their successors and contemporaries, continuing and constantly reinvigorating the journey of this thousand year old tradition.

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