Classy ink art spread on the block
Updated: 2016-03-18 08:12
By Ming Liu(China Daily)
Liu Wei's Flowers is among the contemporary ink art works that will be under the hammer of Sothe-by's Hong Kong auction on April 4.[Photo provided to China Daily]
On April 4, Sotheby's Hong Kong will host the sale of 83 works from a genre that's rooted in Chinese classical painting and is gaining ground with international collectors.
A significant collection of contemporary ink art is to go under the hammer－with many works crossing the auction block for the first time.
On April 4, Sotheby's Hong Kong will host the sale of 83 works of contemporary ink art, a genre that's rooted in classical Chinese painting and is gaining ground with international collectors.
The works have already been shown in London, Beijing and Shanghai. They're currently displayed in New York, and will head to Taipei next.
The art is part of the Origo Collection, a US-based private foundation.
This is the first time that a single-owner collection of contemporary ink art has come to auction.
The category of contemporary ink art is relatively new for Sotheby's and the media, says Katherine Don, the auction house's head of contemporary ink art.
"But it's actually not a new medium for artists and specifically in China," she says.
The Origo Collection, founded a decade ago, aims to broaden the genre's definition, a mission that's evident in the sale's breadth of names and styles.
There is ink-on-paper or－silk pieces by some of the biggest artists working today, alongside more experimental creations, featuring mixed-media collages and video art.
"We see the Origo collection as a very significant survey of that diversity," says Don.
Among the more traditional artists whose work is in the collection is Li Huayi.
He says that Chinese painting "tranquilizes you and makes you feel everything has calmed down".
That sentiment shines through in his work, Autumn Mountains, which is up for sale for an estimated HK$2.5 million-4 million ($320,000－$520,000).
Meanwhile Liu Dan, who's among the most respected artists working in the genre today－and whose works have been exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the British Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston－has two works in the sale.
Poppy and Yu Yuan Stone (HK$2.5 million-4 million each) are impressive in their 2-meter scale and highlight the artist's masterful execution.
The works feature Liu's signature calligraphy down the side－an ode to the classical form that Tai Xiangzhou also employs in his Wondrous Peaks and Multitudinous Gully (HK$150,000-250,000).