(LIU GUOSONG, Chinese, B. 1932)
Snow Melting as Spring Approaches
signed and dated in Chinese (upper left)
ink and colour on paper
93.5 x 59 cm. (36 7/8 x 23 1/4 in.)
Painted in 2007
one seal of the artist
Acquired directly from the artist
Private Collection, Asia
Capital Art Corporation, Liu Kuo-Sung, Taipei, Taiwan, 2007 (illustrated, p.31)

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Lot Essay

"Reform the brushwork, reform the brush." Exploring techniques beyond that of traditional Chinese Painting, Liu Kuo-Sung creates modern ink works that embody the unique essences of Eastern and Western art. They blend the traditional Chinese painting technique of textural strokes (cun) and the concept of brush-and-ink with the expressive vocabulary of Western art.
Liu developed this pictorial composition by centering the river, which divides the picture into two areas with mountains. The mountain clusters form the principal pictorial composition, and the low hills in the frontal plane are juxtaposed against the majestic mountain peaks in the background. Mountain ranges descending from the upper right plane towards the lower left create a visually balanced composition, with the flow of water in closer view running from left to right.
In the Chinese painting tradition, black is the dominant colour for line drawing. Liu challenges this convention by drawing scattered and interwoven white lines, which cover the plane like stars in the sky, manifesting what he calls a 'tension of white lines'. The steep mountain slopes and snow-flakes flying in the sky charge around the plane with great vigour. The overall composition and inter-directional flow of snow, water and mountain are infused with dynamic movement. A realistic yet dream-like landscape is created through the subtle and ambiguous representation of mountain peaks underneath the white lines. While the crystal clear blue sky in the upper plane resonates with the deep blue water flowing in the lower plane, the flow of water suggests that the winter snow has melted and spring is around the corner.
Crossing the boundary between the East and the West, Liu expands the idea of 'the void' in breadth and depth. At times, the white lines are used purely for abstract expression while at other times they are for realistic and sensory representation, imbuing the objective depiction of the snowy landscape with the emotions and creative mind of the artist.

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