Auction | China Guardian (HK) Auctions Co., Ltd.
2018 Autumn Auctions
Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art

Shi Jin-Hua (b.1964)
Pen Walking #99(Painted in 2011)

Pencil, paper and document

108 x 217.5 cm. 42 1/2 x 85 5/8 in. 43.3 x 31 x 3.3 cm.  17 x 12 1/4 x 11/4 in.(Document)

Private Collection, Asia

This work is accompanied by an explanation document and a Certificate of Authenticity issued by Mind Set Arts Center with signature from the artist

Eternal Questions of Life
Asian Performance Artist Shi Jin-Hua
Shi Jin-Hua was born in Penghu, Taiwan in 1964 and after graduating from National Taiwan Normal University wet to study in the United States where he obtained a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California. Shi currently lives and works in Kaohsiung and is one of only a handful of conceptual performance artists in Taiwan. He is particularly adept at taking simple materials that are readily available in daily life, such as pencils or toothpaste, and through measurement and “pen walking” creating works that are both extremely simple and deeply philosophical. Over the years, Shi has been invited to show his works at numerous art biennials in Taiwan and around Asia and his pieces have been collected by the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts and the White Rabbit Gallery in Sydney, Australia.
Endless Path of the ‘Pen Walker'
In 2012, Shi Jin-Hua's A 100km Walk performance art project was launched in Changhua, followed by a further 98km at LINES - Shi Jin-Hua's Contemporary Religious Art held at the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts in 2016, with the final 2km undertaken at Art Basel Hong Kong in 2017. In other words, the project took almost five years to complete. During these events, Shi covered the floor and walls of the exhibition arenas with canvas and left footprints on the floor canvas as he walked around the display area drawing with a pencil. At the same time, the artist also fastened a pen recorder to his arm to record the sound of the pencil as he drew, like a series of waves one after another. As a result, the white canvas is gradually covered by overlapping layers of pencil lines that showcase Shi's deep reflections on life. As they stand in front of this huge black wall, viewers invariably meditate in silence and self-reflection as they ponder perhaps his most notable work to date.
The painting being auctioned on this occasion is Shi Jinhua's Pen Walking #99 (2011), a work completed as the artist simultaneously chanted mantras and recited the names of Buddhas. However, although the images in the work might resemble mountains or clouds these are not its visual focus as that is to be found in the fact that through long-term repeated behavior self-examination and questions of insight meditation not only reflect the life of the individual but also hone disposition and spiritual state. Moreover, this is the process by which the artist raises metaphysical questions about the meaning of life through art, including the ultimate question of how to let go of egocentrism and take refuge in the truth.
“One of the Series in Pen Walking is to draw the mount Kailash with a pencil, while using up the entire pencil in the process. To me, the mountain was a symbol, representing a goal that is transcended in reincarnation. As I could not physically reach the mountain, I used the sheet of paper as my shrine. Walking around a place or object is a kind of ritual as well as a kind of practice in Buddhism. It is often performed around a noble one or a symbol of respect, such as Buddha statue, or a Stupa.
The life of a pencil devoted to walking around a mountain is a beautiful story. With continues lines and pencil shavings, we see a pencil devote its life to walking around a mountain. This represents devoting one's life to climbing a mountain. This represents devoting one's life to climbing a mountain. If the goal is not achieved in this life, then one would continue in the next life (or pencil). If one still cannot reach the goal, then one would try again and again. As long as a person holds the fundamental motivation to do so, one will find truth, wisdom and compassion, eventually.”

Price estimate:
HKD: 160,000 - 260,000
USD: 20,400 - 33,100

Auction Result:
HKD : 200,600



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