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WALASSE TING
(DING XIONGQUAN, Chinese, 1929-2010)
Two Ladies with Fan
ink and colour on paper
37.1 x 48.2 cm. (14 5/8 x 19 in.)
one seal of the artist

Brought to you by

Marcello Kwan
Marcello Kwan Asian 20th Century & Contemporary Art Department (Hong Kong)

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Lot Essay

Since his career first took off, Walasse Ting has captivated viewers with the lighthearted mood of his paintings, some of which were tinged with playfulness. The seven clay and one underglaze sculptures (Lot 41) he created in 1957, as gifts to friends, consisted of figures such as a bird, a duckling, and a man on a donkey. Ting's improvisational skills also mirror his true persona. Having spent more than 50 years in the realm of art, Ting excels in mixing Eastern and Western aesthetics with a creative spin. Ting apprenticed in France when he was young, and settled in New York after 1959. He was strongly influenced by Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism; his earliest works were predominantly abstracts. Fuck Symphony (Lot 24), completed in 1968, is such a transitional piece. Ting's gestural brushwork was daring: he splashed canary yellow, green and navy blue on a pastel blue base. His technique was spontaneous, devoid of artificial manipulation. His works reveal a strong inspiration from Abstract Expressionism. The title of this piece, Fuck Symphony, can also be translated verbatim - Sexual Conjugation Symphony - to manifest Ting's explorative take on human bodies and sexual dynamics between genders. It also forecasts Ting's stylistic evolution to come.

Fuck Symphony and the group of clay and underglazed sculptures were gifted by the artist to his friend Vivian Springford. Ting and Springford shared the same studio space for ten years, and were in the same New York art circle. They consequentially influenced each other in the creative amalgamation of Chinese calligraphy and Abstract Expressionism.

Ting reverted to figuration after the 70's to reexamine the imageries of the female form, asserting the rapture within the human psyche through symbolism. Two Ladies with Fan (Lot 40), Two Ladies with Green Horse (Lot 57) and Cat (Lot 58) are his hallmark pieces of the era. With lush colour and outlines, Ting crafted an enchanting space where a woman, a horse, and a cat coexist. It's dreamy, passionate yet tender, and veritably Ting's most representative artistic language.

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