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Details
PAN GONGKAI (B. 1947)
Lotus
Scroll, mounted and framed
Ink on paper
137.5 x 136.5 cm. (54 1/8 x 53 3/4 in.)
Executed in 2014
Post Lot Text
PAN GONGKAI (B. 1947)
Selected exhibitions
2014 Work Gallery, University of Michigan, Michigan, USA (solo)
2013 Today Art Museum, Beijing, China (solo)
2011 Tokyo University of the Arts, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
Chinese Pavilion, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (group)
2008 National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Taipei, Taiwan (solo)
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany (group)
2007 National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China (group)
1997 UNESCO, Paris, France (solo)

Notable collections
Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, USA
National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China
National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Taipei, Taiwan
Shanghai Art Museum, China
University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan

Pan Gongkai was born in Ninghai, Zhejiang Province in 1947. He entered the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts to study Chinese painting in 1978, and since the 1990s he served as the President of the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou and the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. Pan is known in China and abroad as an influential artist as well as an art educator.
With the influence of his father, renowned painter Pan Tianshou, Pan was well-learned in traditional Chinese culture as a child but only began his formal training in painting in high school. Lotus is Pan's favourite motif. His works are expressive and large in format, conveying a presence in image and scale. Pan merges the innate abstractness of the ink and brush genre and his inheritance of the literati tradition to create elegant and contemporary compositions that effectively interact with a modern audience and exhibition space.

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Lot Essay

Depicted in all seasons and blossoming stages, Pan Gongkai's lotuses are new expressions of one of the most enduring and evocative subject matters in ink painting. This work, a scene of lotuses thriving with their leaves busily intertwining one another, radiates a weighty feeling of strength and bursting energy, as suggested by the Chinese title "a robust air of lotus". When studying the art of his father Pan Tianshou in the 1980s, the artist began to reckon the importance of xieyi, that is the expression of spontaneity and the spirit of a being through brushworks. Through this expressive technique and his preservation of the traditional concept of ink and brush, Pan's works exude the elegance of the ancient literati. However his firm believe in producing large-scale works in a large brush and big splashes of ink (da bi da mo) confirms his sensitivity of how ink paintings can fit in the contemporary art context.

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