We are delighted to present TheTang Hung and Fung Bi-Che Collection of Chinese Paintings & Calligraphy this fall. Tang Hung (1926–2018), courtesy name Chunzhi, was born into a family of painters in Beijing. Tang Hung studied calligraphy in the slender-gold script and paintings of flowers and birds in the Song court style under Yu Fei’an and he also once studied under Zhang Daqian. After moving to Hong Kong in the early 1960s, Tang Hung held numerous solo, faculty and students exhibitions, and founded the San Chuan Art Society. Fung Bi-Che (1916-2009), whose original name was Di, was born in Shunde, Guangdong. She also studied with Zhang Daqian after moving to Hong Kong in 1946 and her works were presented in multiple solo exhibitions in Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines, and Malaysia during the 50s and 60s. The two artists later immigrated to California in the United States in the 90s and continued to paint incessantly. This collection is assembled by a couple who shared a common appreciation and philosophy coming from the same lineage in Chinese paintings.
Though this collection does not present monumental masterpieces, each and every individual work in it displays a strong artistic purpose. Especially since both Tang Hung and Fung Bi-Che were well trained in Chinese painting and calligraphy, all of the works in this collection have been selected by two individuals with a discerning eye. For instance, there are two flower and bird paintings—Flowers of Winter and Spring by Yun Shouping (Lot 515) and Flowers of Four Seasons by Zhang Xiong (Lot 511)—that must have moved Tang Hung and enabled him to understand the brushwork and application of color by artists of the recent past. The collection also includes rarely seen early masterpieces of known masters, such as Dragon in the Clouds by Lin Fengmian (Lot 582), and an outstanding group of fan paintings. This collection also contains outstanding fan paintings. We find not only ingenious solo works by famous artists inscribed with the receiver’s name and given as gifts, such as Lonely Scholar on Autumn River by Zhang Daqian (Lot 548) and Summer Pavilion by a Lake by Huang Junbi (Lot 549), but also collaborative works. There are also collaborative works, where the sentiment expressed in the calligraphy suits the painting on the fan, such as Flowers, Vegetables and Butterfly by Zhang Daqian and Yu Fei’an (Lot 507). The works of Pu Hua are another highlight in this collection, ranging from landscapes, bamboo, figures and rocks subjects. The works presented in this collection were a treasured source of beauty, knowledge and memories for the two painters, and are the finest works in the collections of the Tang Family.
Part of the collection will be featured in the Saturday at Sothebys: Asian Art sale on 15 September 2018. A selling exhibition of Tang Hung and Fung Bi-Che will be presented concurrently to connect the personal style of the two artists and the works in this collection.