Auction | China Guardian (HK) Auctions Co., Ltd.
2024 Spring Auctions > Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art
Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art

Yuan Jai (b.1941)
Brilliant Colour(Painted in 1993)

Ink and colour on silk

90 × 68 cm. 35 3/8 × 26 3/4 in.

Signed and dated in Chinese with an artist's seal on bottom right

1995, Yuan Jai 1993-1995, National Museum of History, Taipei
1995, Yuan Jai 1993-1995, National Museum of History, Taipei

Private Collection, Asia

Boundless Colours of Ink, Dazzling Colours of Thousands of Miles
The Debut of Yuan Jai's Enriched Landscape

Born and educated in Chongqing in 1941, Chinese painter Yuan Jai was surrounded heavily by academia since childhood. In 1958, Yuan attended Taiwan Provincial Teachers' College, and obtained a Fine Arts degree. Her study was also under the mentorship of renowned Chinese painters, Pu Xinyu and Huang Junbi. By 1962, Yuan went to Europe for study, and received a Master's degree from the Royal Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities in Belgium. Upon graduation in 1969, she became the chief restoration specialist at the National Palace Museum in Taipei, a position she held for 32 years until 1987, when she resumed painting. By 2020, she became the first Chinese artist to have a solo exhibition at the Centre de l'Art de Pompidou in France. Yuan Jai's prolific works are in the collections of Pompidou, the M+ Museum in Hong Kong, and the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts. Works created in the 1990's were mostly placed in institutional collections, at which Brilliant Colour, completed in 1993 is an important and early work of Yuan's. Hence, as this piece remains one of the only five works seen at auctions in the past thirty years, its presence in our upcoming auction is extremely precious.

An Ode to the Mountains and Rivers across the East and West

In Brilliant Colour, warm-coloured tones fill the ridges of mountains and lushed forests. Employing techniques of the past, the artist depicts green landscape by adding malachite, powdered lazurite to pigment, which results in a turquoise colour. Following, the mountainscape was created with thick ink and rich colour tones, with the addition of vermillion red and goose yellow pigments. These combinations of pigments are layered intricately to form a dazzling landscape like a jewel box. In the background, the artist leaves a large area of white, seemingly negative space in her paintings. The trail of mist gives an illusion of a thin veil sweeping across the mountains. The viewer, like a climber, climbs to the top of Autumn Peak at dawn and is greeted by a mist that dissipates, revealing a kaleidoscope of colours.

To form a majestic eastern landscape, Yuan has playfully positioned triangular peaks and square pillars in the blue sky. She harmoniously blends the beautiful green landscapes of the Orient with the geometric shapes of modern Western art, and her original "heterochromatic landscapes" series interprets the "singularity" pursued by the ancient literati in their landscape paintings. Like an ode to mountains and rivers, with a reverberating sound that lingers around the beams of her voice.

Price estimate:
HKD: 120,000 - 150,000
USD: 15,300 - 19,200

Auction Result:
HKD: 144,000



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