HONG KONG - Poly Auction Hong Kong 2014 Autumn Auctions will be held at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong from 5 to 7 April. The Autumn Auctions will include 7 categories, namely Chinese and Asian Modern & Contemporary Art, Chinese Contemporary Ink Paintings, Classical Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy, Fine Modern Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy, Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Jewels and Watches, Chinese and Western Wine. Notably, Poly Auction Hong Kong will also present its inaugural sale of “Chinese and Western Wine” featuring an impeccable collection of finest and rarest wines in 2014 Spring Auctions.
Selected highlights will be showcased in travelling previews in Beijing (8 – 9 March), Shanghai (15 – 16 March) and Taipei (22–23 March), followed by a public preview of all of the properties on offer at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong from 4 to 7 April.
SPRING AUCTIONS CALENDAR AND HIGHLIGHTS
Chinese and Asian Modern & Contemporary Art
After almost two years since its founding, Poly Auction Hong Kong Chinese Modern and Contemporary Art department is continuing its outstanding results in auctioning and further expands this spring, offering masterpieces from not only China but also Japan and Southeast Asia. The department will at the same time be officially renamed as Chinese and Asian Modern & Contemporary Art. Museum-quality excellent works of this Spring Auction include: groundbreaking artwork by renowned Japanese artist Takashi Murakami titled Fate’s Hushed Approach, My Hushed Laughter. The skull motif first seen in 2009 is now made as a pivotal and independent series its own headline piece. The artist challenged himself with brand new painting technique in composing a collage of skulls of different colours, and in so doing attempting a colourful yet mystical narrative of the perpetual topics of death and destiny.
Apart from this, Chinese and Asian Modern & Contemporary Art will feature a large-scale showcasing of a series of rare personal collections of more than 20 pieces of artwork by master artists, in a clear re-presentation of the trajactory of contemporary Chinese art. Among the works is the 1946 Nude by Window by Pan Yu-Lin. The image of a nude woman in the daring Fauvist colours makes it a key masterpiece that demonstrates the artist’s creativity. On the other hand, Carmen by Qin Xuanfu and Oriental Venus by Sha Qi present the view and perspective of the nude female body in different styles; the lines and colours of Xu Beihong’s Portrait of Mrs. Xue Xia, an amalgamation of Chinese and western techniques, is an indication of the development of realist movement in China; there are only 20 pieces of Qiu Ti’s artwork that remain, of which Two Pheasants is her last piece; Li Tiefu’s Still Life, Lu Shibai’s Still Life and Wang Yachen’s Pot of Goldfish all reveal the artists’ unique understanding of life through still life paintings.
On the other hand, the masterpieces of Sanyu and Lin Fengmian represent the development of abstract expressionism. Sanyu’s Prunus Branches in a Green Landscape after spending fifty years in private collections, is making its debut in auctions. The more skilful use of lines and colours can be said to be an extension of the composition of still lifes and the structure of landscape paintings, making it the unique bridge between the two main creative themes of his life. The three works of Lin Fengmian, In Spring One Sleeps, Unware of Dawn, Lady, and Dwelling by the Hill, represent the breakthroughs and revolution of traditional painting; Zao Wou-Ki’s Paysage Rouge and 5.6.54 (Herbes) even emphasises the artist’s early creative success through colours and images and the deconstruction of words. These are all genre-setting pieces that influence the development of Chinese modern art and they lead the collectors into a domain of enough significance in art history.
Other highlights on auction include blue-chip artworks very popular in the market, namely: a dedicated collection of oil paintings and colour paintings by Wu Guanzhong, Composition No. 538 and Red Composition by Chu Teh-Chun, a series of precious artwork in private collection by Ye Yongqing in the late 1980s, and Mask Series by Zeng Fanzhi.They are a complete presentation of the development of Chinese modern to contemporary art. It is believed that these artworks will be fodder for intense discussion between curators, private collectors and art museums and institutions.
Chinese Contemporary Ink Paintings
Following the success of its inaugural sale last year, the department of Chinese Contemporary Ink Paintings continues to strive for the reconstruction of the development of contemporary ink wash paintings and proudly presents this year’s sale in two separate categories: Contemporary Chinese Classical Paintings and New Chinese Ink Paintings.
While Contemporary Chinese Classical Paintings continues to introduce artworks that are considered the succeeders of the intellectual and aesthetic essence of traditional Chinese ink paintings and calligraphy, and those by artists educated from orthodox art institutes, such as the respected masters: Zhou Sicong, Wu Guanzhong, Feng Dazhong and Fan Zeng etc., as well as the up-coming young talents of Ren Zhong and Fan Yang. The New Chinese Ink Paintings session will continue to work on its success from last year, introducing the most sought-after artists, including the works of Zhu Xinjian, Xu Lei, Ai Xuan, Li Jin, Qin Ai, Qin Feng and many others, while recommending works of the younger generation that have gathered a tremendous amount of attention in recent years, such as Hao Liang, Xiao Xu, Huang Dan and Tan Jun etc.
The featured works in the upcoming Spring Auction focus on those that are particularly distinguished in terms of its style and perception, as well as those reflective of socio-political notions. We are delighted to present to our collectors the exquisite and rare coloured-ink calligraphy by Wu Guanzhong; the large-scaled work of Ju Xinjia’s Swordsmen that is kept by the collector for an extensive number of years and is to be shown on the market for the very first time; an exceptional work by Xu Lei’s Nostalgia is considered at the top of his artistic and intellectual excellence. Other highlights include a masterpiece by Li Jin, Guzzle fully reflects the very notion of ‘literati’ life-style in a modern society through the depiction of ‘gourmet food’ that is most characteristic of Li Jin’s paintings.
The Chinese Contemporary Ink Paintings sale strives to serve collectors by establishing a comprehensive yet diversified framework within which contemporary ink paintings have developed over the years, all with exceptionally low estimates.
Classical Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy
Classical Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy of this spring auction will feature works by men of letters from the Ming and Qing Dynasties as headline items, with an aim to foster a cultured artistic exchange on ancient art and calligraphy, to build a bountiful artistic feast of ancient art and calligraphy with a number of meticulously-picked themes.
In the Dedicated Sale of Qing Dynasty Scholar's Paintings and Calligraphy section, the focus lot should undoubtedly be the A Series of Ten Landscapes Painted by Yongrong and Nine Other Masters, after the Mi Fu-Style, a long landscape roll, an imitation work of The Landscape Painted by Mi Fu (A Set of Two Handscrolls) commissioned by the Sixth Prince Yongrong to nine famous painters. Another highlight is Pine Trees and Spring, two pieces of artwork in ink by Dong Bangda and Li Shizhuo and additional background art by Zhang Qia, with a heading scribed by the Emperor Qian Long.
Furthermore, the Dedicated Sale of the Collection of Fan Paintings section will have two themes, namely The Collection of Li Hongqiu and The Collection of Fan Paintings of Xiaowanliu Hall. Li was an avid collector, who once had around twenty pieces of artwork by Dong Qichang and recorded in Shi Qu Bao Ji. Featured top lots include the brilliant works of such maestros as Hun Shouping, Dong Bangda, Qian Gu, Wang Yan, Bao Xie, Shu Chang and Xia Shi. The Collection of Fan Paintings of Xiaowanliu Hall mainly concerns itself with the fantastic works of Chen Hongshou, Shen Zhou, Jin Nong and Hua Yan of which Shen Zhou’s semi-cursive script on a fan was Shen’s only calligraphy work enlisted in Fan Paintings of Masters in the Collection of Xiaowanliu Hall. Apart from this, Chen Hongshou’s Plum Blossoms collected by Pang Laichen, Wu Yun and Ma Yuelu is especially noteworthy because of its rarity; Landscape by Wu Bin is his masterpiece and hence particularly precious. The spring auction of Classical Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy includes a special section named the Dedicated Sale of Art Books providing an opportunity for aficionados located overseas to study art.
Fine Modern Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy
In the Spring Auctions, Fine Modern Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy will present many overseas remarkable private collections. Xu Beihong's Horses was completed in 1943, when the artist was in Chongqing founding the China Academy of Art, and he held a small personal exhibition in Chengdu Shaocheng Park. The focus of his work was still on the nation and the people, and most paintings of that time usually carry this meaning. This piece of work represents Xu’s usual style of passion and vibrant strokes of ink, but the whole picture is full of a long-missed tranquility and romantic atmosphere, and implied that horses stroll in delightful spring breeze; Evening Trip To The Red Cliff《東坡夜遊赤壁圖》, painted by Li Keran and with a poem by Guo Moruo, is an elegant landscape by the painter. It suggests Li’s philosophical views; Fu Baoshi’s Mount Qian was completed when he was living in Northeastern China. The combination of the brushstrokes and the landscape show his distinctive artistic style. There are three surviving works of the same theme of Mount Qian, two of which, titled Vacation At Mount Qian《假日千山》, are kept by the Nanjing Museum, making the artwork an extremely important painting of his life When Fu Baoshi sketching in the northeast.
Also in the auction are several masterpieces by Zhang Daqian: Landscape After Old Master 《仿廉州臨北苑山水》 (1966) is a masterpiece of an imitation piece of ancient art. Zhang has numerous imitation works, but rarely did he imitate Masters of Qing Dynasty 「四王吳惲」, therefore making this imitation indeed rare; Trestle By The Cliff which depicts a green landscape, was a gift from Zhang Daqian to Army Commander-in-Chief He Yingqin of the Nationalist Government, and is a depiction of the craggy Huashan; while Lotus shows both hard and soft brushstrokes and a careful composition, and is a representative work of Zhang’s huge paintings of lotuses.
In addition, there are many famous works by master artists now available to the public: the theme Landscaps By Lu Yanshao 「陸家雲水」 includes a handful of Lu Yanshao’s brilliant work done in his last years: brief strokes that illustrate cloud and water with big chunks of blank is a unique way of painting invested by him; Still Life and Autumn Scenery 《深秋》, included in the 2008 Han Mo Xuan翰墨軒 compiled by Lin Feng Mian林風眠, reflects out-of-world mood made possible by the masterful use of traditional Chinese painting techniques and colours and composition of Western impressionist painting.
Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art
Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, apart from conventional porcelain, jade, antiques, will also include 3 separate themes on epigraphic works, ancient stationery items and bronze statues, and includes 2 sections namely The Grand Gathering of Enlightened Beings and A Historical Collection of East Asian Politics and Arts in Early 20th Century. Among the 300-plus auction items, there are treasures in each unit: a white jade carved peach inlaid with multi-jewelries,
made of beautiful jade, is a work of extraordinary craft; Archaic bronze vessel, You, either collected by or research-catalogued by Zhu Shanqi, Wu Shifen, Wu Dacheng, Luo Zhenyu, Liu Tizhi et al, is a well chronicled historical item; the an archaic bronze vessel, Gu, with the scripture of ”Ya Gu Fu Ji”, was also included in Huang Baichuan “Ye Zhong Pian Yu”; “Ba Ji Yin” Qin was formerly in the collection of Lo Ka-Ping, a Lingnan qin master; with its beautiful grains, it has been featured in several exhibitions, and has listed in several books on the qin and related audiovisual works; a bronze statue of vairocana buhhda, up to 90 cm in height, is not only sleek, but also shows refined clothing chisel-carved, showing a solemn face of the Buddha, a moving piece of art essentially. The Grand Gathering of Enlightened Beings covers Tibetan and Chinese Buddhist art from the North Qi Dynasty to Qing Dynasty, of which a white marble figure of standing amitabha and a gilt lacquered wood figure of fasting Buddha, 104 cm and 63.5 cm in height respectively, are masterworks carved beautifully and preserved well. In this spring auction, there are a host of Chinese antiques of good quality, and the auction itself aims to deepen the academic analysis and aesthetic interpretation, and strives to be "detailed, genuine, refined and wide range of choices" so as to satisfy professional collectors.
Jewels and Watches
The Important Jewels of this spring auction will proudly present a special selection of over 200 rare jewels from around the world, with the theme of colour gems and diamonds. Featured lots include natural Pigeon’s Blood, Kashmir Sapphire and Colombia Emerald from Burma and a selection of coloured diamonds. Some of the key jewelleries are from international design brands. These cover antique jewellery, natural pearls, jade jewellery, etc. They will be able to attract the attention of discerning collectors.
As for luxury watches, Poly Hong Kong presents to collectors elegant brand watches from Patek Philippe, Cartier, Piaget, Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, Chopard and so on. Many of them are precious collection-grade watches, such as VACHERON CONSTANTIN, IMPORTANT ROSE GOLD MANUAL-WINDING MINUTE REPEATING PERPETUAL CALENDAR WRISTWATCH WITH MOON PHASES AND LEAP YEAR INDICATOR; PATEK PHILIPPE 5971P, A VERY FINE AND RARE PLATINUM AND DIAMOND-SET PERPETUAL CALENDAR CHRONOGRAPH WRISTWATCH WITH MOON PHASES, 24 HOUR AND LEAP YEAR INDICATION; PATEK PHILIPPE 5102PR, A VERY FINE, LARGE AND RARE PLATINUM AND ROSE GOLD AUTOMATIC ASTRONOMICAL WRISTWATCH WITH SKY CHART, PHASES AND ORBIT OF THE MOON INCLUDING TIME OF MERIDIAN PASSAGE OF SIRIUS AND OF THE MOON, etc. Meanwhile, Memorigin, a famous local brand in Hong Kong, and the ‘Ku Tour’ collection of watches created by Ms Priscilla Ku Kei Kwan, the well-known Hong Kong artiste, will make their first appearances on auctions.
Chinese and Western Wine
Chinese and Western Wine, founded in 2014, is a newly established department in Poly Hong Kong and will soon debut on the Poly Hong Kong spring auction. It proudly presents Chinese Maotai wine of different years and whiskey of different origins and years. Therefore, this will be Hong Kong’s first auction of wine spirits of Chinese and western varieties. It will spare no effort in introducing Chinese and western wine cultures, for the appreciation for collectors. Famous domestic wines include Guizhou Maotai of 1970s with the “Sunflower” trademark, which was produced in only very small quantities; specialty vintage wines of the “Five-Star” trademark from the early 1980s, and jiangmao, which, back then supplied exclusively the Great Hall of the People and the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse banquets, with virtually no circulation on the market. There were very bottles in private stock. These varieties not only represent collection opportunities for wine lovers, and will surely arouse interest for Chinese wine in the international market.
In terms of whiskey, in addition to covering 60 different yearly versions of the Karuizawa, the Balvenie from 1950, and a variety of Macallan of more than 30 years, the top lot is a bottle of the 1955 Glenfiddich, which is preciously rare, and a good brew that wine lovers cannot miss.