(ZHU DEQUN, B. 1920)
le 3, juillet 1995
signed in Chinese; signed 'CHU TEH-CHUN.' in Pinyin; dated '95.' (lower right); titled 'le 3, juillet 1995' in French, signed in Chinese; signed 'CHU TEH-CHUN' in Pinyin (on a sticker affixed to the reverse)
acrylic on paper
27 x 35 cm. (10 5/8 x 13 7/8 in.)
Painted in 1995
Private Collection, Europe

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Felix Yip
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Lot Essay

Chu Teh-Chun's transcendental logic is represented by the joining of the artist's spiritual vision with the elements of the natural world, to provide a revelation of the philosophy of Chunagtze and his view of a universe in which mankind exists in harmony with nature. As he conceives the world with receptivity, nodding to Aristotle that 'sight would be soul', he demonstrates his capacity of receiving representations of his environment and translating them in phenomenal abstraction that can be understood universally.

Chu faithfully explores the integrity of the picture plane, using himself as the primitive concept in driving the powerfully expressive images of his paintings. Understanding and the unique traits of each medium of ink, watercolor and acrylics, he draws out each of their poetic characteristics with artistic and technical fluency. His 1960s ink on paper works Untitled (No. 193) & Untitled (No. 139) (Lot 1180 & 1181) precisely attest to his comprehension of his medium with attentive layering of thin washes that extends the spatial depth with his control over the richness of color and its tonal gradation. Variable, quick lines stimulate the surface in avid motions despite its solemn penetration of red, brown and black blocks, in which the animated brushstrokes are furthermore deliberately tamed by the blank half of the canvas.

Deeply brooding in its dominant patterning of dark slashes with a matte brown overtone, Composition (No. 28) (Lot 1115) exudes forceful energy and sensorial intensity. Embracing the course of nature that is infinitely various and unpredictable, and recognizing the spontaneity of knowledge, Chu continually seek for self-discovery within the infinite realm of the blank canvas. His later paper works le 3, juillet 1995 & Untitled (Lot 1104 & 1171) exhibits relaxed, fluid contours, perhaps metaphoric to Chu's liberation from the self. Untitled (Lot 1171) in particular illustrate prevailing, sweeping black lines exhibiting Chu's mature practice in calligraphy. Chinese artists were very much concerned with expressive style and the character and imagination of the artist. This view influenced Chu deeply, and traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy became a source of nourishment in his art, imbued it with an Eastern grace and vitality.

His three works on canvas (Lot 1172, 1179 & 1182) preserve the volatility of ink brush strokes but imbued with stylistic modernism of empirical colors. Untitled (Lot 1182) is juxtaposed of deeply penetrated washes against dry textures, where spatial depth is primarily maneuvered by the gestures of the brush strokes, while Chu's later works Deux Espaces (Lot 1172) and Espaces Nuances (Lot 1179) exhibits compositional through complexity of paint, color and imagery simultaneously. Untitled (Lot 1172) boldy divides the canvas into two of a nuanced landscape of a mountain peak, surrounded by atmospheric snow. The rocky mountains are implied with his abrupt, direct application of colour while the cool air its fresh vitality of the nature is motioned through extensive, swift brush strokes; perhaps the binary aesthetic rooted from his training under Wu Dayu, whom emphasized on "pay attention to color, light, and black-and-white contrasts." Recently painted, Esapces Nuances (Lot 1179) lucratively regulated aesthetically disparate spectrum of yellow, green, white, and pink into the centre, enlightening us of the everlasting possibilities of sensationalism. Translucent, but wide strokes of mists circulates the centre, presenting the viewer with a dramatic experience, highlighting the lyrical and emotional compelling aspects of Chu Teh-Chun's abstraction.

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