Beginning of the Glacier
signed and dated ‘Chen Ting-shih 65’ (lower right) ; numbered '6/7' (lower left)
cane fibre board relief print on paper
62 x 61 cm. (24 3/8 x 24 in.)
edition 6/7
Executed in 1965
one seal of the artist
Private Collection, Asia
Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Chen Ting-Shih (1915-2002): Sound of Rarity, Taipei, Taiwan, 2002 (illustrated, plate 33, p.218).

Brought to you by

Jessica Hsu
Jessica Hsu

Lot Essay

"Art is not conclusive, all creation is only a matter of selection." - Chen Ting-Shih

Chen Ting-Shih was a founding member of the Modern Graphic Art Association, he later joined the Fifth Moon Group in 1960, and was nominated for the São Paulo Art Biennial in Brazil. Chen was a crucial figure in the history of modern art in postwar Taiwan, widely recognized for his abstract prints and iron sculptures. His early woodcuts were relatively realistic, as he evolved to produce abstract engravings on bagasse boards, which utilized the characteristics of the material to attain rich colours and textures, by inking the plates and printing by hand. His visual language of geometric forms shown much influence from western Abstractionism; however, his aesthetics are deeply rooted in Oriental ideologies, separating him from his western counterparts. He projected on the paper his understanding of nature, and the mysterious workings of the universe; his simple shapes indicate the lexicons of seal craving, in its energy and the oneness of true and void. The residue of stencil-like compositions appears on the verge of vanishing, remind to us the ancient forms of stone monuments, yet, his abstract shapes reinvent and resonate to the present.

This auction presents an excellent collection of print works by Chen Ting-Shih, to include his signature palette: black, blue, gold and red. Lantern Fair (Lot 486) uses the colours of flaring red, muted gold and charcoal black to conjure the image of light, each element in this work tells of motion and rhythm; Untitled (Lot 487) and Beginning of the Glacier (Lot 488) depict masses of azure blue looping across the surface, to suggest the ritual linking states of life. The triptych Centrifuge #1 (Lot 489) pushes the compositional possibility of dense, black shapes, to describe the tension manifested in the figure-ground relationship. Since Chen Ting-Shih had lost his hearing at an early age, much of his time was lived in silence, but it did not stop him from communicating with his art, the purest human emotions that are most profound.

More from Asian 20th Century Art (Day Sale) Including a Selection of Japanese Woodblock Prints from Private Collections

View All
View All