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XU BEIHONG (1895-1953)
FORMERLY THE PROPERTY OF THE DR K S LO COLLECTION Dr. K S Lo was born in 1910 in Mei County, San Xiang Village. At the age of 10 he went to Malaysia with his mother, where they reunited with his father, Luo Jinxing, who at the time was working at the Ren Sheng Tang Medicinal Shop. In 1934 he graduated from the University of Hong Kong and joined the company where his father worked and was soon appointed Hong Kong manager of the firm's real estate branch. On one occasion in 1936 Dr. Lo was in Shanghai for business, he attended a talk entitled "Soya Bean: The Cow of China," which introduced the great benefits of soya bean and their high protein content - this lecture changed his life, when he witnessed the malnutrition of the people in Hong Kong after the World War. With the thought of building an empire to "save his people", Dr. Lo sought to create a family drink that was not only affordable but also contained the necessary nutrients for health. Dr. Lo then produced the now famous "Vitasoy", establishing his company in 1940. Vitasoy quickly spread to become a household name and expanded beyond Hong Kong to become one of the most recognizable brands in Asia. Dr. Lo's passion for business and love for his people also extending to his passion for studying and collecting Chinese art. With a particular focus on Chinese arts and culture, he turned his interest to Yixing teapots and actively collected them from the 1950's onwards. He formed a great collection which he donated to the Hong Kong people in 1981 when he established the K. S. Lo Teaware Museum, now situated in Hong Kong Park. In addition to his interest in Chinese ceramics and works of art, he also concentrated on collecting Chinese paintings and supported younger artists and the different exhibitions that were held across town. Having successfully sold Dr. K S Lo's collection of Zhang Daqian and Wu Guanzhong paintings in May 2011, Christie's is proud to present a selection of Dr. Lo's paintings that reflect his collecting interests and passion for Chinese arts and culture.
XU BEIHONG (1895-1953)

Tianmu Mountians

Details
XU BEIHONG (1895-1953)
Tianmu Mountians
Inscribed and signed, with one seal of the artist
Dated autumn, jiaxu year (1934)
Hanging scroll, ink and colour on paper
108 x 108 cm. (42 1/2 x 42 1/2 in.)
20th Century
Post lot text
Xu returned to Shanghai from Europe in 1927 and settled at the National Central University in Nanjing in 1929, while actively exhibiting in South East Asia. A great supporter of "realism", this painting harks back to Xu's training in Western techniques in watercolour and perspective. Tianmu Mountains are revealed through a water-colour-like misty execution. Using a square composition and placing a single man at the edge of the cliff gazing towards the majestic rolling hills, Xu juxtaposes the diminutiveness of the man against the greatness of the cypress trees, which stand in further contrast to the great hills in the beyond, enveloped by light mist. Paintings such as these reflect Xu's travels around China to sketch different scenery and find inspiration in nature, with underlying tones of yearning for a peaceful life and peace in his home country without the worries of war.

Created in 1934, Xu used brushstrokes of varying wetness, intensity and tones to give form to the mountains, the light wash at the crucial meeting points of mountain and mist that give the former a faraway distance . The hardness of the cliff and the sturdiness of the trees achieved through Xu's use of colour and brushwork contrast with the light wash of the mountains, complementing one another to create an ambience of harmony and elegance. The unpainted paper in the lower right corner is particularly effective in giving viewers an illusion of distance as it cuts the composition, giving further distance to the mountains receding in the background.

This rare example is the epitome of Xu's belief in blending Western techniques with Chinese subject matters to achieve a new form of Chinese modern painting.

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