Among Chu Teh-chun's various works, it is rare to find paintings of snow. Despite painting several works dominated by white tones in the mid-1960s, such works are incomparable to these mesmerizing snowy winter landscape scenes lit by bright sunshine. Chu made a trip to the Alps in 1985, and the natural beauty of the winter snow in the mountains inspired him to compose a series of paintings celebrating the tranquil yet lively nature of snow. Evocation Hivernale C (Lot 521) and Transparence Glacier (Lot 522) are such examples. In these two paintings, the artist's use of white is remarkable. Pointillism-inspired white spots are scattered across the compositions, vividly portraying heavy snowfall. In addition, white patches accurately capture the brightness of snow-covered mountains lit up in the distance. Chu is well-known for his mastery in using different shades of light in his compositions. In these two examples of his work, he juxtaposes dark and bright colours and incorporates various tones of white to create mysteriously different shades of light. His brushstrokes are reminiscent of Chinese calligraphy; this, together with his brilliant use of ink colour are both hallmarks of Chu Teh-chun's art. This painting style harks back to the artist's early years as an art student at Hangzhou Academy of Fine Art, when he would spend the mornings practicing calligraphy or Chinese painting.
The elegant contrast between light and dark tones in these works emulate the effect of Chinese ink washes, suggesting a strong influence of this traditional Chinese painting technique. Furthermore, the vertical format of the two works, vis-à-vis the more common horizontal format of most of his work, is likely to be borrowed from the format of traditional Chinese landscape painting.
With calligraphic brushstrokes, his spontaneous arrangement of patches of colour, and the graceful balance between light and dark, both of these works portray the solemnity of nature and the sentimentality of winter, and exemplify the essence of Chu Teh-chun's art.
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