Walasse Ting’s innate charm filled his practice as an outpouring reflection of his fervour for life, conveying audacious imagery with intrepid depictions of desire – candid eroticism without deigning into vulgarity. Venus under Golden Rain depicts a reclining female figure in a relaxed position; her hands cradling her head as she faces the viewer with a rather still expression on her face. The titular Venus, with her fair pink skin and golden yellow hair harks back to the Roman goddess of love, though the similarity ends there as Walasse’s Venus is stirring in her unabashed-ness. A choice subject matter of the artist, her uncontrived form is an ode to the female figure and the artist’s confident portrayal of sensuality.
Executed in the 1960s, this work is produced at the height of Walasse’s stylistic maturity. Splashes of verdant green, fluorescent yellow and bright whites are sprayed over the canvas in dynamic motion and negative space is filled with patches of the same palette. Such artistic vernacular speaks of the artist’s friendship with eminent American artist Sam Francis, belying the influence the New York school of Abstract Expressionism had on his stylistic outlook. Moreover, Walasse was unfettered by formal training and drew inspiration from his own predilections and passions, allowing nodes of his culture and ethnicity to seamlessly manifest in his work. For example, the bold animated strokes in this piece are reminiscent of the spontaneous fluidity of Chinese calligraphy. True to his uninhibited personality, Walasse had the sensibilities to take in his various influences and synthesize his own style of Abstract Expressionism. Indeed, Venus under Golden emanates an irresistible humour and magnetism that also encapsulates a light-heartedness and unassuming quality.
Beholding Walasse Ting’s work is akin to witnessing a youthful artist at work, robust in his vitality and burgeoning creativity. It is as if the artist plainly allows his senses to preside over his brush, unrestrained in its honest delight and imagination. The present lot is vivacious in its presence and a testament to Walasse Ting’s celebrated, seminal artistry.
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