HE BAILI (PAKLEE HO, B. 1945)
HE BAILI (PAKLEE HO, B. 1945)

An Emerald Atmosphere

Details
HE BAILI (PAKLEE HO, B. 1945)
An Emerald Atmosphere
Scroll, mounted and framed, ink and colour on paper
90 x 132 cm. (35 3⁄8 x 52 in.)
Signed, with three seals of the artist

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Carmen Shek Cerne (石嘉雯)
Carmen Shek Cerne (石嘉雯) Vice President, Senior Specialist, Head of Sale

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Lot Essay

Fast-forwarding more than a century of the evolution of the Lingnan School of painting, we see its most prominent successor, the fourth-generation artist He Baili. His love of Hong Kong is often manifested in the city’s idyllic coastal landscape paintings dotted with serene sailing boats. Born in 1945, He Baili came to Hong Kong from Guangzhou as a young child. While attending Wah Yan College in Kowloon, he increasingly became interested in art under the encouragement of his father. He actively participated in his school art club, founded by art teacher Laurence Tam Chi-sing, who later became the curator of the Hong Kong Museum of Art. Later on, He became a student of Lingnan artist Hu Yuji, a student of Zhao Shao’ang. He learned under Hu for three years, and because of this association got to know master Zhao Shao’ang, who would have an enormous impact on him. Although He was not a student of Zhao, he admired the master tremendously and visited him frequently. Zhao also invited He Baili to join many activities in his painting group, which helped raise He’s profile as a young and emerging artist to a larger audience. For the next six decades, He’s life underwent many changes - moving to Canada in 1984 and then back to Hong Kong in the early 2000s. One thing unchanged is that he never gave up his calling on art and has continued to paint and educate his students on its importance, particularly on the influence of the Lingnan tradition.

The experience of travelling to the famous mountains and rivers in China has enhanced He Baili’s artistic vision, creativity and spirit. As a result, he formed a unique style and provided a new direction for Chinese landscape painting. An Emerald Atmosphere is inspired by the artist’s three visits to Mount Taihang. The floating mist gently surrounds the valley like a thin layer of fine silk. The half-hidden villages by the mist hang by the cliff; the undulating shape of the hills emerge from the bottom. With the firm and soft brushwork juxtaposing each other, the scenery is expressed vividly and harmoniously in the painting.
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