Powerful Works by Zhang Daqian and Huang Binhong at Sotheby's HK

6 March 2018 - 11:09am

Two exceptional works by Zhang Daqian (1899-1983) and Huang Binhong (1865-1955) will debut in auction at the upcoming Fine Chinese Paintings Spring Sale 2018 by Sotheby's Hong Kong on April 2.

According to a press release by Sotheby’s Asia fine Chinese paintings department acting head Carmen Ip, “This season, our Fine Chinese Paintings sale is distinguished by high calibre and fresh-to-the-market works from prominent collections, many with special connections to the artists. A monumental Zhang Daqian splashed ink-and-colour painting, gifted to his close friend, and Huang Binhong’s Studio Amid Majestic Mountains, commissioned in celebration of Mo Boji’s 70th birthday, are just two of the many highlights in our April sale that cannot be missed.”

Highlighting the auction are two works by Zhang Daqian(1899-1983) and Huang Binhong(1865-1955) making their auction debuts.

Zhang Daiqan’s Spectacular Mountains in Spring Snow spans six feet in length. The work depicts a mountain range with its peaks dusted in snow, and is accompanied by a calligraphy poem describing the towns of Anhui and Sichuan, the birthplaces of Zhang Daiqan and Zhang Muhan respectively. The work is said to have been executed at the height of Zhang Daiqan’s career.

Founded by a wealthy Guangzhou-based merchant in the early 20th century, the Mo Boji Family Collection is today universally recognised as the largest in Guangdong Province. An avid student of Chinese classical studies, Mo Boji (1878-1958) is the 28th generation in a long line of collectors, who moved to Macau in the early 1940s with his son. There, he continued building his collection, portions of which have appeared at auction with Sotheby's on three occasions.

Studio Amid Majestic Mountains by Huang Binhong spans over 1 metre in height and is detailed in nature. Thick with impasto and vibrant with powerful brush strokes, the painting features inscriptions of two poems, a reference to the family’s love of writing. According to Sotheby’s press release, the paper used for the work was especially made during the 49th year of the Qianlong Emperor’s reign in honour of his birthday celebration.

Also on offer is a work by Fu Baoshi from the 1940s that comes from the M K Lau collection. Scholars Trekking in Snow Mountains beautifully combines the artist’s eye for detail with his interest in history. Drawing inspiration and reference from the biography of Tang Dynasty poet, Han Yu, and in particular his journey to Chaoyang in a winter due to his demotion, the present work vividly portrays Han trekking through the narrow, winding mountain paths buried in snow and enveloped by withered trees and sharp rocks. Representative of Fu Baoshi’s oeuvre, Scholars Trekking in Snow Mountains has been exhibited across Europe and Asia and has been recorded extensively in catalogues and publications.

Another work by Zhang Daqian on offer, titled Majestic Mountains in Sichuan. Depicting a panoramic view of the mountains of Sichuan, this painting is remarkable for its extensive layering of ink, which successfully creates a sense of depth. The painting also bears two seals of the artist, specially made for works depicting Mount Qingcheng and Mount Emei which are rarely seen together in the same work.

Other highlights include Fu Baoshi’s Beauty Under The Pillows, Zhang Daqian’s Self Portrait in Mount Huang and Li Keran’s Lofty Mountains in the Mist.

Fine Chinese Paintings Spring Sale 2018 public exhibitions will be held from March 29 to April 1 at Hall 5, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (New Wing), 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

The auction will  be held at the same venue on April 2.

The Accompanying calligraphy poem from Zhang Daqian's Spectacular Mountains in Spring Snow, also spanning six feet


Huang Binhong's Studio Amid Majestic Mountains, 1947, ink and colour on paper, hanging scroll, 128.5 by 61 cm Estimate: HK$15,000,000 - 20,000,000 / US$2,000,000 – 2,500,000


Fu Baoshi's Scholars Trekking in Snow Mountains, 1945, ink and colour on paper, hanging scroll 88.5 by 56.3 cm Estimate Upon Request


Zhang Daqian's Self Portrait in Mount Huang, 1961, ink and colour on paper, hanging scroll, 192 by 102 cm Estimate: HK$ 8,000,000 – 12,000,000 / US$1,000,000 – 1,500,000


Li Keran's Lofty Mountains in the Mist, 1988, ink and colour on paper, framed, 92 by 52 cm Estimate: HK$ 9,000,000 – 12,000,000 / US$1,100,000 – 1,500,000


Fu Baoshi's Beauty Under The Pillows, ink and colour on paper, hanging scroll, 105 by 30.5 cm Estimate: HK$ 8,000,000 – 12,000,000 / US$1,000,000 – 1,500,000