HONG KONG – Simplicity, elegance and harmony between man and nature can be found in art and objects from across the centuries. These works will be offered in the Contemporary Literati – A Gathering auction in Hong Kong on 7 April.
A Dream Root, Qing dynasty, 18th/19th century
The thousand-year-old appreciation of rocks and roots among China's scholarly elite elevates the strange, clumsy and ugly produced by nature. Such objects have inspired the most celebrated artists throughout China's history and continue to do so today. The present root, shaped like a fantastical organ, is a pleasure both to see and to touch.
Liu Dan, Poppies in Early Summer in Manhattan, 1992.
Seven ethereal stalks of poppies in full bloom and in bud, in delicate yet definitive shades of coral and pink, painted in the early summer of 1992 in Manhattan by the Master in ink of rocks, sunflowers and poppies.
A Sandstone Head of a Buddha, 6th century
This small sandstone head of a Buddha, formerly in the celebrated Wannieck collection in Paris, is stylistically close to Buddhist sculptures found in the Tianlongshan caves in Shanxi province. The almond-shaped, heavy-lidded eyes, the elegantly curved mouth and the hair dressed in rows of large rounded curls are all typical of this singularly beautiful period in Buddhist sculpture.
An Inscribed Limestone Figure of a Reclining Luohan, Song dynasty
This superbly carved sculpture depicting one of Buddha's disciples was previously owned by an Austrian aristocratic family who formed the collection in the 1950s. This rare example compares with a very similar set of sculptures, albeit larger, housed in the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.
A 'Qilian' Limestone 'Bridge' Scholar’s Rock, Song to Qing dynasty
This small but magical scholar's rock would have been a prized possession for a scholar. It is unusual multi-layered striated texture gives it movement and can be appreciated from many angles. The owner of this rock, The Master of the Water, Pine and Stone Retreat, has painted this rock in ink as seen from five views.
Liu Dan, The Master of Rocks, 2013
This ink painting vividly captures the many facets, twists and whorls of a fantastic rock from the Forbidden City and was specially painted to benefit the China Institute in America.
A Zoomorphic Fragmentary Bronze Handle, Late Shang dynasty
This extraordinary bronze handle would have once formed part of a ritual food vessel (gui). Although zoomorphic handles are characteristic of Shang period bronzes, this example is highly unusual in its complexity and is cast in the shape of a beast, which is surmounted by a feline, biting off the head of another.
Teng Pu-chun, Beyond the Rocks, 2014
Teng Pu-chun's surreal rock spiraling upwards from a jardinière into a fantastical mountainscape stuns with its intricately drawn grottos, lakes and waterfalls cascading into vaporous clouds.