Modern Art Online: From Le Pho to Sanyu spans across a wide range to present a holistic picture of Modern Asian art during the 20th century. Highlights include figurative paintings by Vietnamese artists Le Pho, Mai Trung Thu and Trần Văn Cẩn, a charming selection of editioned works by Chinese maestros Sanyu, Zao Wou-Ki, and Chu Teh-Chun, as well as vibrant paper works by Walasse Ting, sculptural collectibles by Ju Ming and Tran Phuc Duyen, and gestural ink compositions by Wucius Wong, Liu Kuo-Sung and Lin Xi. The auction will be a wonderful opportunity for budding and established collectors alike to acquire works by the most significant names from the modern era.
From Le Pho to Sanyu, artists in the 20th century were constantly re-imagining the floral form to bring a sense of permanence to the brevity of beauty. Flowers are earthly yet sublime. Whether driven by a flower’s aesthetics, scent, or innate power to reproduce life and survive, artists across the centuries have long imbued flowers with their personal, cultural, and religious relevance.
Property from The Eisen Collection: A Single Owner Grouping of Mai Trung Thu Paintings
Tran Van Can - A Highly Rare Silk Painting
Tran Van Can
ink and colors on silk, 1941
Estimate: 600,000 - 800,000 HKD
Tran Van Can’s Farmers is an exceptionally rare composition by the Vietnamese artist, painted in the highly coveted medium of silk. Dated 1941, this delicately painted composition leads the sale. The present lot features four sanguine villagers in the foreground jovially walking towards the viewer’s space while effortlessly carrying bundles of hay over their shoulders. The scene overlooks a receding landscape and horizon line peppered with trees and a farmhouse that cast their reflections on a sweeping water body stretching across the picture plane.
Born in 1910, Tran Van Can was a student at the École des Beaux-Arts d'Indochine who worked with a variety of mediums, from lacquer, woodblock printing, oil painting and silk. He served as the director of the Vietnam College of Fine Arts from 1955 to 1964, became the general secretary of the Vietnamese Fine Arts Association between 1958 and 1983. By 1983, the maestro became the President of the Vietnamese association of Plastic Arts.
陳文瑾生於1910年，曾求學於中南半島美術學院。他的作品廣涉不同媒材，包括漆畫、油畫、木版印刷及絹本畫。1955至1964年間，陳文瑾出任越南美術學院院長，並於1958 至 1983年擔任越南美術協會秘書長。1983年，陳文瑾成為越南造型藝術協會會長。
Color is crucial to the interpretation of the mystery of nature. From Walasse Ting’s vivid depictions of animals and figures, Shi Hu’s imaginary collages that reference to the buddhist grottoes, Wang Yancheng’s abstract cosmic compositions and to Lebadang’s richly textured canvases, these artists juxtapose colors and reconstruct forms in their works. By visualizing their emotions through color, they break through established artistic boundaries.
Calligraphy being the blend of symbol and gesture, has always been one of the core elements and sources of inspiration for especially abstract artists. From the gestural abstraction of Wang Dongling, the integration between Chinese calligraphy and Cubism demonstrated in Wang Huaiqing’s disassembled furniture; to award-winning lyricist Lin Xi’s calligraphy work, Wucius Wong’s ink landscape and Lui Shou-Kwan’s flowers - a comprehensive overview of the diverse facets of literati aesthetics is presented in this sale.
Other highlights of the sale include works by artists who captured the everyday, quintessential scenes of life along the straits for Southeast Asia where trade and exchange of ideas thrived. The works of Chinese artists such as Liu Kang and Cheong Soo Pieng who migrated to Singapore, are presented in this auction alongside a masterful work by Vicente Manansala who invented “transparent Cubism” in the Philippines.
The sale also presents a group of works by post-war Chinese artists, including The Lalatta Family Collection of Ho Kan, an important single owner collection of Chen Ting-Shih and other works by Zao Wou-Ki, Liu Kuo-Sung and Li Yuan-Chia.
In the 1920s the Dutch colonial government of Indonesia presented Indonesia to the world as a kind of living museum of culture: a landscape of rice fields, thriving Javanese traditions and Hindu temples that offered cultured Europeans a sense of remove from the pressures of modernity. The European artists who visited and often settled there in the decades before World War II found something to what Paul Gauguin had found in Tahiti at the end of the 19th century. Indonesia - both Java and the island of Bali, was a place that could be idealised through the prism of art.