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Tiancheng International's Spring Auction of Modern and Contemporary Art will be held on 6 April
Yan Shuilong, Lan Yu. Estimate: HK$800,000–1,200,000/US$103,000–155,000
HONG KONG.- Tiancheng International will present its Spring Sale of Modern and Contemporary Art on 6 April at The Connaught Room, 1/F of Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong. Seeking to promote the thread of Chinese culture and traditions, Tiancheng International attempts to demonstrate the artists’ contribution of their inheriting and spreading traditional Chinese aesthetic spirits. Inspired by the musical arrangement, the auction is divided into three sections including Overture, Concerto and Symphony to present the development of Chinese Modern and Contemporary Art over the course from the early 20th century till nowadays. Public preview will start from 4 to 5 April at Hong Kong.

THE FIRST SECTION –OVERTURE
Around the 1920’s, the Qing Dynasty came to an end and the Republic of China was established. Many of those with aspirations flocked to the West to study Western art, building up a robust “New China”. From then on, a series of art revolutions started off. The advocate of art magazines, the birth of many Western art groups and the establishment of specialised art institutions all conceived the tone set for the development of China’s modern art education in the early 20th Century. In particular, as an advocate of “East meets West” and creative freedom, the Hangzhou Arts School paved the way for the extension of China’s art history onto far-­‐ reaching cultural axes. In the midst of all the collisions between East and West, they composed a passionate overture for the first half of the 20th century.

In the 1920’s, Liu Haisu, Xu Beihong and Yan Wenliang were three artists who played key roles in the “New Culture Movement”. They established three ideologies for art education in China and, together, they created a path for inheritance in the development of China’s art education. Amongst, Yan Wenliang’s ideology in his personal artistic creation, which places equal emphasis on fine arts and applied arts, had a profound impact on institutional art education in China, making him an iconic first-­ generation oil painter in China.

Presented at Tiancheng International’s Spring Sale of Modern and Contemporary Art 2013, Roaming in Spring (Estimate: HK$1,000,000–1,500,000 / US$129,000–193,500) was created after Yan Wenliang (1893-­‐1988) returned to China from his studies in France in the 1930’s. It demonstrated the results of his early training in Western art and the artist’s skills as he approached the peak of his artistic maturity in his 40’s. The piece uses smooth brushstrokes to depict a natural scenery, with rich layering in both colour and depth, and distinct yet delicate transitions between light and shadow, while exuding a hint of classical temperament. The ingenuity and skills of the artist are highlighted by the figure and surrounding details in the centre a display of the simple pleasures of pastoral life.

Among the first generation of artists in Taiwan to have received Japanese education, Yan Shuilong (1903 -­‐ 1997) made tremendous contribution to art education and the promotion of arts and crafts in Taiwan. Set out to promote local art and keep traditional folk art alive, his paintings gradually became centered around the aborigines of Taiwan by taking part in the production and promotion of Taiwan’s public in ceramic mosaic murals from 1960 onward. Lan Yu (Estimate: HK$800,000 – 1,200,000 / US$103,000 – 155,000), offered by Tiancheng International this season, combines the most prominent elements in Yan Shuilong’s painting: the emphasis on the independence of colours; the combination of highly pure colour blocks to create contrasting light and shadow; the attention to detail in both the subject and in decorative elements; the meticulous use of lines with an emphasis on leading lines that brings focus to the elegant curves of the boat, giving it a sense of rhythm and the lines extending outward for an added sense of two-­‐dimensional space. This piece not only offers a visual feast of geometric blend of light and colours, but also shows the rustic lifestyle of Lan Yu aborigines and a passion for the land of Taiwan.

THE SECOND SECTION– CONCERTO
In the second half of the twentieth century, with the shuffle of world’s economic and cultural centre, the United States became the new world for the artists to heal their broken world view and spiritual boundaries during the World War II. Amongst, some Asian artists derived the inspiration from their home culture, harmonised it with the mainstream ideology and created a brand new artistic form more concentrating on their individual thoughts and creativity.

Liu Guosong (1932-­‐) has an abundance of creativity and a pioneering spirit, and has been charging ahead in his path to reform. He has been active in the modernization of ink art across Greater China, and is committed to bringing in new concepts and techniques from European and American art and carrying on the deeply rooted traditions in Chinese painting. He is one of the most eminent ink artists in Asia, and he continues to foster the emergence of exciting experiments and innovations in ink painting. When the first man landed on the moon in 1969, Liu Guosong drew on the Eastern philosophy on cosmology based on the elements of squares and circles and applied his skills in spray painting, lithography and a technique involving his own type of special paper, to depict the correspondence between the sun, the moon and the earth, the product is a series called Which is Earth?. Rising Silver Moon (Estimate: HK$360,000 – 460,000 / US$46,500 – 59,400) is a classic piece in this series from the 1970’s. It presents an artistic charm that arouses a desire for more, and leads the imagination to move along with one’s vision, towards seemingly limitless time and space. In the midst of meditation, a perfect world of heaven, earth and man is created.

THE THIRD SECTION–SYMPHONY
In the new century, the Chinese people are emerging in various fields. We have reconnected with long-­‐lost cultural traditions, and are gradually rediscovering our confidence as a nation and our self-­‐awareness. In today’s flourishing art scene, whether through landscape, figure painting or lyrical portrayals, the “contemporary literati” are cleverly applying new media and new thinking to transform deeply-­‐rooted Eastern ideologies into new visual and sensory experiences, presenting the best that each has to offer; like a perfectly arranged symphony, they immerse themselves in the moment to play magnificent music.

In the new wave of innovative Chinese painting, young artist Hao Shiming (1977-­‐) is undoubtedly one exponent of mature techniques and unique artistic language. The Big Bird Series (Estimate: HK$60,000 -­‐ 80,000 / US$7,700 – 10,300) is Hao Shiming’s independent series apart from his paintings of people, a series that showcases remarkable visual effects. The work is centred around birds, using lines to construct the shape, which from a distance resembles the casual and dynamic sketching created by an ink brush. Those who take a closer look will be amazed by the ingenuity, as it is not only overlapping lines that form the shape of bird, but the entire image is constructed with “colour blocks” created by double-­‐stroke lines. The elongated colour blocks are clearly layered and interlace with each other in arrangement, “weaving” the treetop that stands in the middle of the painting, as well as the bird that is busily glancing left and right. The artist uses the delicate bristles of the ink brush, which seemingly would separate and break at the movement of an animal, coupled with writhing light ink lines in the background that enhance the liveliness of the bird. The artist also uses an elegant and soft beige grey as the main colour tone so as to strike a balance with the rhythm of the linear elements, rendering the boundless vitality of nature while remaining gentle and pleasing to the eye.



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April 1, 2013

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