"Il Punto" is the Italian word for "point". The Punto Movement, led by Hsiao Chin, Li Yuan-Chia, Antonio Calderara, and Kenjirō Azuma, was based in the Eastern philosophical idea of "quiet contemplation", and adopted the "point" as the core of artistic expression. As Hsiao Chin recorded in "A Historical Dialogue with Art”, Li Yuan-Chia had already begun during his years in Taipei to "express an awareness in his tableaux that approached Zhuangzi's notion of quiet contemplation. He paired extremely fine points and lines, as well as very few colours, with vast and wide empty spaces, in order to record the undulations of his mind". According to Li's own memoirs, he made his first painting of "a white background with a tiny black point" in 1959. That was the origin of his "cosmic point" art, in which he used a single point to explore the myriad things of the universe. Li later brought this idea with him to Milan, where he made profound contributions to the Punto Movement. In 1960, with the support of the internationally renowned designer Dino Gavina, Li Yuan-Chia took up residence at a factory in Bologna and began a four-year period of prolific productivity. His artistic ideas had room to grow, and the result was a series of conceptual artworks with elements of calligraphy, including the artwork featured in this sale (Lot 1022).
Li inscribed the back of Dove va L'arte with the words, "the point is the beginning and the end of the myriad things of the universe". He used both Chinese and Italian to express the profound philosophy of the cosmic point, and this description of the artist's theories of painting and calligraphy is a rare find. The composition of the painting is extremely simple and concentrated: the brush strokes are introspective and restrained, and the artist restricted himself to using only white, black, red and blue. This limited vocabulary endows the artwork with the spirit of quiet contemplation. Dove va l'Arte is a folding album, a form of painting of Li Yuan-Chia's own invention that contains six canvases, each of which is an exquisitely detailed work that combines Chinese and Western aesthetics. The entire album is four metres long, making it the longest Li Yuan-Chia work to appear on the auction market to date. Viewed in the form of a folding screen, each page offers an independent perspective while also contributing a chapter to the united whole. The result is an artistic charm that suits both refined and popular tastes. In its rigorous composition, Dove va l'Arte expresses a pursuit of deep thought and pure contemplation. It not only contains a profound Chinese view of the universe, but also closely corresponds to the post-war Italian Minimalism and Spatialism movements, spurring limitless thoughts and ideas with a single, exquisite point.
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