PAN TIANSHOU (1897-1971)
PAN TIANSHOU (1897-1971)
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PAN TIANSHOU (1897-1971)

Bamboo Valley

PAN TIANSHOU (1897-1971)
Bamboo Valley
Hanging scroll, ink and colour on paper
100 x 45.9 cm. (39 3⁄8 x 18 1⁄8 in.)
Entitled, inscribed and signed, with two seals of the artist
Dated jiawu year (1954)
Titleslip inscribed and signed by the artist
Dated early summer, jiawu year (1954)
Christie’s Hong Kong, Fine Chinese Modern Paintings, 31 May 2016, Lot 1368.
Pan Tianshou Paintings, Shanghai People’s Fine Arts Publishing House, 1963, pl.19.
Pan Tianshou Paintings, Hong Kong Nantong Book Company, 1979, pl. 31.
Tan Xiyong, Pan Tien-Shou Paintings, Artist Publishing House, Taipei, August 1980, p.114.
Wang Jingxian & Li Di, Pan Tianshou Shuhua Ji, Vol. 1, People’s Art Publishing House, Beijing, 1982, pl. 102.
Yang Chengyin & Lin Wenxia, Xian Dai Mei Shu Jia Hua Lun Zuo Ping Sheng Ping: Pan Tianshou, Xue Lin Publishing House, January 1996, p. 221, pl. 42.
The Works of Pan Tianshou, Vol. 2, Zhejiang People’s Fine Arts Publishing House, December 1996, pp. 86-87, pl. 179.
The Complete Collection of Pan Tianshou, Vol. 4, Zhejiang People’s Fine Art Publishing House, University of Zhejiang Publishing House, October 2014, p. 347.

Brought to you by

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

Lot Essay

When conceiving a painting, it is essential to consider the composition.
One should differentiate the primary and the secondary, make coordination, integrate the void and the substantial, the sparse and the full, the high and low, the tortuous and the straightforward.
Especially, one should pay attention to the four corners and four edges of the painting.
Make them connected with the subject matter and share the same momentum with it.
In this way, the painting will obtain vitality and joy from beyond the material surface.
Pan Tianshou, Essays on Painting Techniques in Tingtian Pavilion
Amongst the masters of modern painting, Pan Tianshou is famous for his precarious composition. He specializes in using the method of Zaoxian (setting up thrills) and Poxian (undoing thrills), endorsing the picture-scape with vigorous, magnificent and electrifying beauty.
In Bamboo Valley, Pan deploys a linear perspective to depict the scenic mountain village. The foreground, painted with rich and confident brushstrokes, diagonally corresponds with the rocks and mountains in the background, directing the eye to Pan's primary subject—the village in the middle. Within this range, the sparkling river surface, illustrated with only a few strokes, and the broad river bank form an expansive and saturated momentum. While there is an obvious opposition between the void in the river and the substantiality of mountains and rocks, the composition is in balance and harmony when viewed as a whole. Such unexpected and skilful arrangement demonstrates Pan’s vigorous spirit. And the figure holding a laundry stick not only functions as the focal point of this painting but also adds dynamism.
Bamboo Valley was created in 1954, coinciding with the peak of China’s New Chinese Painting Movement. This movement aimed to reform traditional Chinese painting considering its lack of sketching elements and real-life depictions. It is obvious that while making attempts to respond to the Movement, in this painting representing village life, Pan also maintained his characteristic audacious composition. According to the previous collector, this painting was a gift from Pan Tianshou to his mother and thence by descent. The original recipient was a Master of Chinese Arts and Crafts in Embroidery and worked at the Shanghai Institute of Arts and Crafts. She and Pan Tianshou were both from Zhejiang Province.

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