ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)
ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)
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ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Splashed-colour Lotus

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)
Splashed-colour Lotus
Scroll, mounted and framed, ink and colour on paper
86 x 84.5 cm. (33 7⁄8 x 33 1⁄4 in.)
Inscribed and signed, with five seals of the artist
Dated July, sixty-ninth year (of the Republic, 1980)
Directly acquired from the artist by the previous owner.
Christie's Hong Kong, Fine Chinese Modern Paintings, 26 November 2018, Lot 1235.
Sale room notice
Please note the correct dimension in inch should be “33 7⁄8 x 33 1⁄4 in.”
此作品正確英制尺寸應為33 7⁄8 x 33 1⁄4 英吋。

Brought to you by

Carmen Shek Cerne (石嘉雯)
Carmen Shek Cerne (石嘉雯) Vice President, Head of Department, Chinese Paintings

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Lot Essay

Seeped with bright hues of blue and green, Zhang Daqian’s favourite exquisite mineral colours, Splashed Ink Lotus is a rich and luxurious composition painted in 1980 when the artist resided in Taiwan.
By the late 1970s, Zhang Daqian had been practising his unprecedented splashed ink technique for nearly two decades. As the taste of his audience in Taiwan differed from their North and South American counterpart, his splashed ink landscape gradually became more figurative and less abstract. His lotus painting, on the other hand, became more audacious. In Zhang’s later years, he displayed unrestrained confidence and strength in depicting one of his favourite subjects, the lotus blossom. Splashed-colour Lotus, painted in 1980, is a prime example of Zhang’s late creation, showcasing an accumulation of over six decades of passion and intimate knowledge in his application of colours.
The current painting originally belonged to a collector who knew Zhang Daqian and acquired the work directly from the artist. Recalling his conversation with Zhang, the collector stated that the artist had achieved many artistic innovations when creating this painting. Very unique to Splashed-colour Lotus is its square composition. It presents a challenge to Zhang as he placed the lotus, leaves and stems in a more confined space, differing from the more typical portrait and landscape compositions.
With the help of water as a binding and diluting agent, ink, azurite, and malachite pigments were layered, blended and spread all over the painting to form a stunning visual depth. This vista came from Zhang’s wild imagination - he imagined himself lying at the bottom of a lotus pond, looking through the water and into the sky with lights reflecting and refracting from all angles. The clear, cold freshwater crisscrosses with the broad lotus leaves; the carefree colour splashes suggest a gentle breeze on a hot summer day. To create such an effect, he used thicker paper as the foundation. By scraping off bits from the paper surface using his fingernails, Zhang added extra texture to let his splashed ink and colour emerge and shine in different intensities and depths. Whereas the lotus leaves do not cover the leftmost part of the composition, light penetrates the water and shines at the bottom like a reflective mirror. Zhang dilutes the blue pigment slowly into the negative space, perfecting the painting with an inscription on his appreciation of the lotus pond, “I walk a little bridge to cross the turquoise lotus pond, there as if I am sitting on the middle of a mirror.”
Evoking a refreshing sense of elegance, Splashed-colour Lotus reiterates Zhang’s lifelong passion for lotus, his youthful spirit, and his ceaseless energy and creativity.

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