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.
Post Lot Text
This painting was dedicatied to Luo Longji (1896-1965), a native of Jiangxi. A famous politician and patriot, Luo went abroad to study in 1921, and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Columbia University, where he studied politics and obtained his PhD in politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science. After returning to his home country in 1949, he occupied many important political positions, including vice-chairperson of the Chinese Democratic League, committee member of the Government Administration Council of the Central People's Government, head of the Government Forestry Department, council member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and Standing Committee of the National People's Congress to name a few.
Luo was a passionate collector of Chinese paintings and ceramics and possessed a large collection of works, in particular paintings by Qi Baishi. On one occasion Luo assisted Qi's grandson, Qi Folai when he had trouble with villagers in Jiangnan. To repay this good deed, Qi gifted many important and rare works to him, Eagle on Pine Tree being one of them.
The pine and eagle together symbolize heroism and longevity, as mark of strength, tenacity and longevity. The eagle, standing proudly at the top of the pine tree, holds a steady gaze as he looks out to the beyond. Qi depicted the eagle with full feathers; clearly delineated its strong head, neck, wings and tail with solid strokes in varying tones of ink, and imbued the feathers with lightness and three-dimensionality. The eagle's beak and claws are confidently painted and well-defined. One can compare this work to the many sketches he made of eagles, now preserved at the Beijing Painting Academy. Qi slowly but surely perfected his interpretation of the winged cockerel and paid particular attention to its proportions and stance. Qi's favourite presentation of the bird was this standing position with a strong gaze and a spirit of defiance. Accompanied by a tall pine, the composition draws the viewers' gaze from the few pine-cones and branches to the sturdy trunk. Despite Qi's old age by 1950, this painting expresses the best qualities of Qi's xieyi works and the simplification of his brushwork during his later artistic period. This painting must have been markedly pleasing in Qi's eyes, evidenced in the use of his seal ji ping tang at the lower left corner, a seal he only impressed on paintings for whom he was particularly fond of.