Lot 1006
  • 1006

Zao Wou-Ki (Zhao Wuji)

800,000 - 1,500,000 HKD
2,000,000 HKD
bidding is closed


  • Zao Wou-Ki (Zhao Wuji)
  • Untitled
  • signed in Chinese and Pinyin and dated 54
  • watercolour on paper 


Important Private Asian Collection 


Dominique de Villepin, ed., Zao Wou-Ki: Oeuvres 1935-2008, Kwai Fung Art Publishing House, Hong Kong, 2010, p. 18

Catalogue Note

Nature in Transformation

Untitled (Lot 1006), created in 1954 like Wind, is a rare watercolour from Zao Wou-ki's Oracle Bone period. During this time, Zao mostly painted natural subjects in oil, employing colours and compositions to create synesthetic relations to natural phenomena like wind and snow, lightning and thunder, and sunlight. When looking at his paintings, we can hear the sounds of wind and feel the desolation of a snowscape, the force of thunder and lighting, and the scorching heat of the sun. Untitled seems to convey the sensations of a misty and rainy scene. For Zao, blue represents peace, and purple hopelessness. The two colours create a loose rhythm of contrast. Grounded in Chinese culture, Zao Wou-ki harks back to the origins of Chinese writing and the cosmology and imaginary realms they embodied. He no longer represents nature in concrete figures, but through an abstract expression that results from a profound appreciation for nature's miraculous creativity. What he paints is not landscapes but nature. Resembling pictographs, the lines in the painting are abstract visualizations of vitality, so that the painting approaches a manifestation of nature itself. The amorphous misty scene of Untitled exceeds any figurative representation, inspiring the viewer's boundless imagination.