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

Shi Jin-Hua (b.1964)
Pen Walking No.120(Painted in 2012)

Pencil, paper, document

96.5 × 218.5 cm.(artwork); 42 × 29.7 cm.(document) 38 × 86 in.(artwork); 16 1/2 × 11 3/4 in.(document)

1 – 30 Nov 2014, Shi Jin-Hua Solo Exhibition, Show Gallery, Kaohsiung

Mind Set Arts Center, Taipei
Private Collection, Asia

This work is accompanied by an explanation document and a certificate of authenticity issued and signed by the artist

Looking up at a Peak, Holding High Aspirations
Shi Jin-Hua’s Pen Walking in Scared Mountain

For Shi Jin-Hua, a performance and conceptual artist, the brush in his hand is not only a tool for recording, thinking, and creating but also a miniature of “one’s life”. Since he suffered from juvenile diabetes at the age of 17, he uses his body as a tool and a medium of expression to present his questioning of the meaning of “human existence” through the act of measuring, recording, walking, and other expressions. Since 1994, he has been conducting the “pen walking” art practice by painting and using out a pen, creating a stunning art scene. This Pen Walking series is one of his most iconic masterpieces and is widely recognised. With this series, he received Taipei Arts Award, and Kaohsiung Award and these works have been collected by institutions such as the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, and the White Rabit Gallery, Australia. 

Among Shi’s nearly 200 Pen Walking works, the Pilgrimage to Mount Kailash series, of which there are only 12, is a very special group. Mount Kailash in Tibet is a “sacred mountain” for Tibetan Buddhists and Hindus. Pilgrims believe that by “turning around the mountain” in a clockwise direction, they can cleanse themselves of the sins of this life and attain spiritual purification and wisdom. Holding the belief of “turning around the mountain”, Shi Jin-Hua, like a devout apostle, pencils the landscape of the holy mountain standing between heaven and earth in Pen Waking #120. On the vast 218.5cm canvas, he creates a wonderfully clear spatial hierarchy of sky, clouds, mountains, and earth with his sparse and dense, fast and slow brush strokes. The earth is depicted with the thickest dark brushstrokes. In continuous coming and returning strokes, the earth becomes the cornerstone for the accumulation of karma in the life of the mountain-turner. Above the earth, Shi applies light and thin brushstrokes to create a “backward” pattern like the rolling of clouds, injecting lightness and flexibility into the pale sky and earth, and highlighting the sacredness of this painting. With the long, continuous moving lines, the holy mountain in between, is represented by the wonders of thousands of overlapping rocks. With the power of the walking brush, the path of the rocks is paved. In the spiritual thoughts of the eternal climb to the top, a path to heaven is opened.

The skylines stretch in front of the viewers, seemingly untouched, but leaving behind the footprints of a pencil scraper like a pilgrimage, implying a lifelong desire to pursue the ultimate belief. Looking back down the mountain, the body of the pencil is placed at the foot of the mountain on the left, back to the beginning of life, and will once again explore the journey of life with the will to reach the top of the mountain.

Price estimate:
HKD: 160,000 – 250,000
USD: 20,400 – 31,800

Auction Result:
HKD: 192,000



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