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2024 Spring Auctions > Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art
Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art

Yu Peng (1955-2014)
Liquoring in the Fancy World #1 (Diptych)(Painted in 2008)

Ink and colour on paper

148 × 83 cm. × 2 58 1/4 × 32 5/8 in.× 2

Signed and dated in Chinese on upper right

2011, Loyalist_Migrant_Hermit, Sunrise Art Printing Co., Ltd., Hong Kong, p. 33 & 97
29 Sep - 22 Oct 2011, Loyalist_Migrant_Hermit, Xinyi Eslite Bookstore, Taipei

Acquired directly by original private Asian collector from the artist
4 Apr 2016, Sotheby's Hong Kong Spring Auction, Lot 5048
Acquired directly by present important private Asian collector from the above

Note: A label of Michael Goedhuis Gallery, New York is affixed on the wooden box

I Lift My Drink and Sing a Song, for Who Knows if Life be Short or Long
Yu Peng's New Literati Landscape Scenery

Contemporary ink artist Yu Peng was born in Taipei in 1955. Since he was a child, he has been fond of traditional art and fascinated by folk tales, which have become the nourishment for his future creations. Unwilling to be confined to academic studies, he broke away from the system and became Taiwan's first street painter at the age of 22, painting portraits of people in Taipei's New Park for three years to observe life and develop a keen sense of perception. 1986 saw him travelling for a hundred days to Mainland China, where the famous mountains and rivers of the countryside unlocked his passion and imagination. He depicts contemporary figures in ink and watercolour, and uses line drawing to create contextualised landscapes and gardens. His works have been collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the United States, the British Museum in the United Kingdom, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, the Hong Kong Museum of Art, and other important institutions. The work Liquoring in the Fancy World #1 was completed in 2008, and was presented in 2011 in the artist's large-scale solo exhibition Loyalist_Migrant_Hermit.

A Dreamy Fantasy World of Intoxication and Extreme Beauty

In Liquoring in the Fancy World #1, Yu Peng breaks the tradition by transforming the original vertical diptych into a straight hanging scroll with the top and bottom connected. In the background, he paints strange rocks and trees, layers of peaks, flowers and birds, and punctuates them with red and green colours to show the vitality of Spring, resulting in an incredibly rich, densely-packed world of elegance with a touch of bizarrerie. In contrast to the "white space" pursued by traditional ink painting, he presents the most complete and comprehensive natural world in front of the viewer like a fantasy dream.

In the centre of the painting, Yu Peng paints contemporary men and women in the "Peach Garden". At the top of the upper part, a woman, like Shi Xiangyun in Dream of the Red Chamber, is lying on a bed with a fan in her hand. She is a naive and lovely figure. At the bottom, a nude man and woman are bashful, holding flowers in their hands, as if they were revealing their love for each other in a straightforward manner. The women on the right side of the painting are covered with tattoos that resemble rocks and flowers, blending in with the nature they are surrounded by. They are holding wine bottles and singing songs, as if they were holding a celebration. The subject of the lower part is a woman in a modern slip dress, standing confidently with one hand on her waist. She is dressed sexily but not in a lewd manner. In her left hand, there is a red pill, as if she is the Queen Mother of the West, who has attained great powers and has made the elixir of longevity, and is receiving an audience. This figure demonstrates Yu's interpretation of folktales and his celebration of women's status.

Yu uses "wine" to link up the emotions and desires of human nature. He demonstrates the harmony between human beings and nature in the contemporary world, and the many different ways in which people live. His coherent painting is like a drama, portraying a fantasy world.

Price estimate:
HKD: 250,000 –350,000
USD: 31,900 - 44,700

Auction Result:
HKD: --



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