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

Shi Hu (b. 1942)
Moonlight(Painted in 1993)

Ink and colour on paper

73.5 × 63 cm. 29 × 24 3/4 in.

Signed in Chinese and dated with an artist’s seal on bottom left

2018, Shi Hu Collection, Chelesa Art, Hong Kong, p. 27-28
Chelesa Art, Hong Kong
Private Collection, Asia

Bamboo Under the Moon: A Sight of Grace
A Shi Hu’s Work Manifesting Natural Beauty: Moonlight

In the 1960s, Shi Hu studied painting at the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts. Responding to the Cultural Revolution then, Shi Hu noticed the declining crisis of traditions and thus determined to revive Chinese ink painting by tracing back to its origin. Influenced by Western artists who attained inspiration from classical arts, including Miro and Picasso, Shi travelled around Africa in the 1970s and finished a series of inspired works collected in Collection of African Sketching Paintings. Shi finally returned to ancient Chinese murals and folk arts. He has held solo exhibitions at the Nanjing Museum, National Art Museum of China, Macao City Hall, and other places, receiving wide recognition at home and abroad.

Painted in 1993, Moonlight appeared in the age when Shi Hu, as the “pioneer of modern experimental ink,” launched his most famous “heavy colour painting.” For this painting, he integrates the lines of Eastern ink painting, the form of Western Cubism and the material texture of Chinese ancient rock painting and lacquer painting. Shi presents a characteristic “wild, chaotic, and weird colour” style by producing a simple, primitive yet vibrant natural texture. It explains why Shi Hu is appraised as “China’s Picasso.”

A Symphony between Liberate and Implicit: Eastern Aesthetics of “Ink Does Not Hinder Colour”

Moonlight depicts a hazy scene of rendezvous in the bamboo woods bathed in the moonlight. The painting features the verdant bamboo leaves interspersed with pink strokes, delivering a vivid vision that looks like leaves and flowers.

Behind the bamboo forests, viewers can see two people, one closer and one farther, seeming to date secretly. The smooth skin of the female, who occupies most of the right front, is reflected by the moonlight in an atmospheric bluish-white tone, revealing an inornate beauty of the natural human body. This romantic scene not only contains Expressionism, Cubism, and other pioneering aesthetic concepts but also fully expresses Shi Hu’s devoted passion for national arts. It is both modern and primitive, exhibiting the charm of ancient mystery and interest in coloured ink painting, which is incredibly unique.

Price estimate:
HKD: 60,000 – 150,000
USD: 7,600 – 19,100

Auction Result:
HKD: 114,000



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