Auction | China Guardian (HK) Auctions Co., Ltd.
2023 Spring Auctions > Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art
Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art

Hoo Mojong (1924-2012)
Blue Apple(Painted in 1982)

Oil on canvas

114 × 146 cm. 44 7/8 × 57 1/2 in.

Signed in English on bottom right

2001, Hoo Mojong, Mountain Art Museum, Kaohsiung, p. 38-39
10 Mar - 13 May 2001, The Works of Hoo Mojong Exhibition, Mountain Art Museum, Kaohsiung
2 Jun - 1 Jul 2001, The Works of Hoo Mojong Exhibition, Honggah Museum, Taipei
4 Jul - 9 Aug 2015, Selected Oil Paintings of Hoo Mojong Exhibition, Mountain Art Space, Beijing

Important Private Collection, Asia

Note: an exhibition label of The Works of Hoo Mojong Exhibition is affixed on the reverse

An Ode to Life, Man Dwelling Poetically in Spring and Autumn
Premiere of A Surreal Still Life Painting By Hoo Mojong

“Though all her themes are ordinary scenes or objects in life, such as a plate of fruit, a pot of flowers, or a person, however, their visual tension are never less than those big themes or scenes, as she conveys the heaviness of daily life.”
——Jia Fang Zhou, National First Class Artist

In the mid-to-late 20th century, a number of pioneering Chinese artists sought art overseas. Hoo Mojong, who had been awarded the gold prize at the Salon des Femmes in Paris in 1968, and since the age of 26 had travelled to Taiwan, Brazil, Spain, and France in a lifelong struggle for her artistic ambitions, as Jia Fangzhou said, is the most notable female artist after Pan Yuliang.

Hoo Mojong was born in Ningbo in 1924. At her teenage time, Hoo Mojong and her family moved to Shanghai during Second Sino-Japanese War. She worked in a factory during the day and studied painting at night, forming an empathetic view of the working class and simple values. She lived in Taiwan and Brazil from the 1940s to the 1950s and had a solo exhibition at the prestigious Galerie Louise in São Paulo before moving to Paris in 1965 to study freelance at the Ecole du Grand Cottage. Three years later she was awarded at the Salon de Paris and in 1970 the French Ministry of Culture presented her with a studio. Hoo Mojong was not influenced by the prevailing trends of the school of painting and used the simplest of food and labourers as the main themes of her works, evoking the viewer's reverence and emotion for the beauty of the essence of life. Her works have been collected by the National Library of Paris, the French Ministry of Culture, the National Art Museum of China, the Shanghai Art Museum and other important institutions.

Rare and Surrealistic Blue Apple Painting

Blue Apple is a work from Hoo Mojong's important Fruit series of the 1980s with some surreal taste, Although she depicted many apples, there are only four in blue, the first of which was in 1969 in the Toy Series. Blue Apple in this auction is one of the two largest of the four, and has the most apples in the painting. The work was also exposed in three of the artist's iconic exhibitions between 2001 and 2015.

The artist uses bold colour blocking to present a scene of prosperity and abundance. Two baskets of apples roll out of a basket on a fertile coffee-coloured soil, showing the rhythm of nature. The artist uses bold blue and green colours to paint the apple hills as if they were in bright sunlight, highlighting the protagonists with shadowy black blocks and applying bright yellow and green lines to the contours and highlights of the apples. The full-bodied contours of the objects and the extreme contrast between light and dark reveal an unobtrusive, crisp and uncompromising style, reflects the artist's own bold and determined character.

Labourers in the Field, A Tribute to Life

Instead of the traditional still life with elaborate implements to support the fruit, Hoo Mojong carefully depicts the simplest of bamboo baskets used by farmers to pick the fruit. The artist's unique perspective highlights the scene just after the fruit has been picked, implicating the present of the labourers and the process of crop production. Despite the hard work, the jewel-like fruits gives us a sense of hope and light in life. As the German poet Hölderlin said, “Full of merit,yet poetically, man dwells on this earth”. The artwork is a quiet celebration of life and a sincere tribute to the fruits of ordinary labour, which touches the heart of every viewer.

Price estimate:
HKD: 450,000 - 650,000
USD: 57,300 - 82,800

Auction Result:
HKD: 576,000



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