QI BAISHI (1863 - 1957)
Lychee and Butterflies
Scroll, mounted and framed, ink and colour on paper
138.5 x 50.5 cm. (54 1/2 x 19 7/8 in.)
Entitled, inscribed and signed, with two seals of the artist
Dedicated to Gengliang
Lychee is a homophone for the word meaning good fortune, and the butterfly is homophone for the word to mean multiple times and continually received, thus the basket of lychees and butterflies conveys continuous blessings and good fortune to the receiver whilst reflecting Qi's ability in his skillful portrayal of both animate and inanimate objects.
The upper colophone includes a dedication to He Gengliang. A native from Zhejiang, He Gengliang immigrated to Hong Kong at the end of the 40's. Having studied abroad in England and Germany, he first took up an assistant's position at the Chongqing Juxing Bank and was recruited by Liu Hangchen (Sichuan's Finance Minister in 1949) into the Sichuan Copper Coin Society and put in charge of purchasing coin machine from Germany and changing the face of China's monetary system.
He later moved to Chuan Kang Agricultural Bank and oversaw the sale and export of pig bristles and wood oil, alongside Song Ziliang and Hu Zi'ang, as well as assisting Lu Zuofu in the bank's foreign lending and expanding the Minsheng company's logistics line along the Yangtze river. He Gengliang passed away in Hong Kong in the 70's.