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Ho Kan (Chinese, B. 1932)


signed in Chinese (lower middle)
watercolour on paper
40 x 50 cm. (15 ¾ x 19 5/8 in.)
Painted in 1964
one seal of the artist
Anon. Sale; Christie's Taiwan, 14 October 2001, Lot 18
Private Collection, Switzerland (acquired at the above sale by the present owner)

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Joyce Chan
Joyce Chan

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Lot Essay

Private Swiss Collection (Lot 518 - 529 ) is a comprehensive collection composed by established Chinese and Taiwanese modern and avant-garde artists such as T'ang Haywen, Chuang Che, Hsiao Chin, Chen Ting-Shih, Chin Sun and Ho Kan. Asian non-representational art is the main theme of this Swiss collection, bearing the witness of cross-cultural understanding through abstract art. Driven by business development opportunities in Taiwan the collection owner, a Swiss business man, moved to Taiwan in 1994, a country that he had yet to discover. With the task to develop art logistics structures and train art handlers in China between 1994 and 2009 he became acquainted with various art circles and met influential advisors in Taiwan who inspired him to start a collection. art revealed to be a tremendously powerful and fascinating vector to explore the rich and complex Taiwanese culture and history. Through the aim and persona of its owner and within the art itself the collection embodies the back and forth connections and influences between Western and Asian abstraction. The collection gathers a group of artists who threw the foundation of the Taiwanese modern art in early 1950s, freeing the art from its sole military propaganda purpose and to develop new modes of expression. In 1956 two influential art groups were formed in Taiwan - the Ton Fan art Group, literally meaning Eastern and well broadcasted through artist Hsiao Chin and the Fifth Moon art Group, also known as the "Salon de Mai" movement for holding exhibitions annually every May, to which belonged artists like Chen Ting Shih and Chuang Che. The Taiwanese avant-garde art groups actively created and promoted art with Asian spirit in international platform, providing an option other than Western art. "abstract expressionist appealed to Chinese artists in Taiwan and Hong Kong for three main reasons: it signified modernity; employed a familiar language of brushwork; and was recognized as having been influenced by Chinese and Japanese art and thought". Their practice shares the American abstract expressionism and European lyrical abstraction, but with spontaneity and spiritual approach rooted in traditional Chinese ink painting and Asian philosophies.

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