‘Dongxi’ means ‘things’ in Chinese, but it also has historic significance, referring to the directions of East and West as exemplified by Tang poet Du Fu in his poem Ballad of the Army Carts:
Even if there are healthy women to handle the hoeing and ploughing, The crops grow in fields but some grow to the East (dong) and some to the West (xi).
The naming of the Dongxi Studio comes from this historic interpretation. More than three decades ago, a Belgian couple first visited Hong Kong and fell in love with Chinese art, thus beginning a journey of collecting. From ancient pottery and jade carvings to modern and contemporary ink paintings, their collection comprises Chinese art and artefacts spanning two millennia; their interests are diverse and they grow in different directions like the proverbial crops in a field.
The gentleman from the Dongxi Studio has been an art enthusiast since his youth, attending painting courses at the Academy of Belgium, as well as holding several well-regarded exhibitions of his work in Europe. His wife is interested in the study of Chinese works of art, paying keen attention to the exquisite craftsmanship of Song ceramics and jade carvings.
At first, the collectors of the Dongxi Studio purchased delftware – blue and white pottery originating from the Netherlands that was influenced by Chinese porcelain – but as the couple’s captivation with Chinese motifs and details grew, they began to collect Chinese export porcelain and eventually, Imperial porcelain. Later, the couple became fascinated with the expressive power of Chinese ink paintings and thus continued to expand their collection.
The Dongxi Studio collection includes many works from several of the top Chinese contemporary ink painters, including Lui Shou Kwan, Li Jin, and He Huaishuo. The group of paintings being offered are a testament to the refined taste and connoisseurship of the collectors, whose focus on quality led to the creation of one of the greatest Belgian collections of Chinese art in the 20th century. Further paintings and works of art from the collection will be offered in the Fine Chinese Modern Paintings, including outstanding pieces by Zhang Daqian, Wu Guanzhong, and Huang Yongyu, and Asian Contemporary Art auction in Christie’s Hong Kong this season, as well as the Chinese Works of Art auction in Christie’s New York in March next year.
To learn more about the Hong Kong Autumn Auctions 2015, visit christies.com/hk