Auction | China Guardian (HK) Auctions Co., Ltd.
2015 Autumn Auctions
20th Century and Contemporary Chinese Art

JU MING (1938)
Tachi Series – Turn Stomp

Wood sculpture

46×35×55cm.18 1/8 x 9 7/8 x 21 5/8 in.

Incised name in Chinese and dated on lower back.

PROVENANCE Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art Evening Sale,Christie’s Hong Kong,2012,Lot 26

NOTE This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by Juming Museum in 2013.

Ju Ming b.1938

In his earlier years,Ju Ming started learning Taichi with his teacher Yang Ying-Feng to strengthen his physique. He has already studied sculpture with Mr. Yang Ying-Feng for 5 to 6 years,along with his profound Chinese sculpting techniques,so his creations were ready to take off at the time. The practice of Taichi and the understanding of Taichi Philosophy transform into his new themes for sculpture. The concepts of Taichi ran through Ju Ming’s artworks for more than 20 years,from learning Taichi,sculpting Taichi,to the “Freestyle.”

Taichi is the essence of traditional Chinese culture,the origin of the universe,the operation of life and the regulation of body. Ju Ming successfully transforms this complicated and profound philosophy into a visual language with oriental beauty and western abstract forms,an international language surpassing cultural and geological limitation. He is deemed as the master of art in this generation.

In his initial exploration for “Taichi” series,Ju Ming experienced the transformation from tangibility to intangibility. At the beginning of this series made with wood,his sculpturing method was based on knife and axe. As his understanding of Taichi became more profound,he adopted steel sewing to present the circulation of “Chi” and penetration of “Momentum.” Such “Chi” and “Momentum” drove him to create his splendid “Taichi series”.

“Taichi series – Turn to Stomp” was created in 1992 and the work abandoned the presentation of all the redundant details,declaring Ju Ming’s “Taichi series” reaching maturity. At the stage,Ju Ming employed two principles:“removal” and “stacking” to leave a visual shock on the viewers. The so-called “removal” refers to removing redundant details and preserving the most essential elements. For example in the early “Taichi series” titled “Kung Fu,” Ju Ming still carved the buttons,pocket,head,hand,leg,and cuffing. One can even tell the distinction between men and women in his sculptures. Now the details have disappeared and were replaced by simple and square “gage blocks.” The “stacking” refers to stack the simplified “gage blocks” organically and form the poses of Taichi to present body language and the athletic beauty with abstract structures.

Painter Wang Wucius saw Ju Ming’s works during the 1980 Hong Kong Art Festival and made the following praising comment:“Chinese sculpture always seems to be weak on the handling of “blocks.” However Ju Ming is an exception. His apparent perception for ‘blocks’ substantially surpassed the other Chinese sculptors handling the sculpture with ‘lines.’ ” Ju Ming presents the tension of uneven surface of his works through numerous “gage blocks”,in order to produce the solid and thick sensation for the overall presentation. His creation techniques gradually detached from specific boundary and shifted toward poetic concept. This became the most successful achievement in expanding sculpting language; profoundly affect the development in the media of his future artwork.

The structure of “Taichi – Turn to Stomp” is highly simplified and generalized,with merely several gigantic structures of distinctive blocks,whose structural tension demonstrates the artist’s precision and strength in shaping the sculpture prototype with knife and axe. The agile skills are indicative of Ju Ming’s body rhythm and hand posture in the shaping of sculpture,releasing the souls hidden under the materials before sculpting such massive forms with vibrant vigor. As his teacher Yang Ying-Feng mentioned:“Each one of his works is filled with bursting power and vigor. The rough knife marks on the works are kept without hiding. In terms of detailed presentation,each cutting is so precise that the life of the object becomes lively.” In this work,Ju Ming kept the weight in the right left kneeling down to present the stable lower body. On the contrary,the stomping left leg is sculpted dexterously to exhibit the speed of stomping. The right arms is lowered naturally while the robust left arm is lifted upward,filled with strength and tension. The perfect combination of dynamics and stillness and speed and strength brings natural vigor and vitality to the work. The artist employs natural wood and minimal sculpting to demonstrate the natural form of “Chi” appealing in oriental arts and the “vigor” appealing Taichi martial arts,presenting valiance in steadiness. This is indeed his classic work during the 1990s.

Price estimate:
HKD:2,000,000 - 2,500,000
USD:258,000 - 322,600

Auction Result:



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