• Zhong Cheng 2022 Autumn Auction「Modern And Contemporary Art」
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    ZHOU CHUNYA(b.1955)

    Ya\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'an Shangli, 94, No.5


    Oil on Canvas
    100 x 80 cm

    Signed Zhou Chunya in Chinese and dated 1994 Signed on the reverse: Zhou Chunya and titled in Chinese, size 100 x 80 cm, dated 1994

    Estimate TWD 12,000,000-15,000,000
    USD 387,100-483,900
    HKD 0-0

    Hammer Price TWD 14,400,000
    USD 448,458
    HKD 3,529,412

Provenance:Private Collection, Asia Purchased at Christie\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s, Hong Kong, November 29, 2015, Lot 151




Whether it is the perspective revealed in his paintings, or the colors he chose to depict, Zhou Chunya has always been best known for his bold painting style. The spirit captured under his brush stroke, Zhou Chunya once said: "My ideal form of spiritual expression in art is dynamic and sensitive rather than the static permanence and standardized portrayal." Seemingly a self-fulfilling prophecy, this concept persists especially throughout the early and middle part of his career. Free from people's expectations, the landscape paintings created by Zhou Chunya are often not just simulating the reality with a little bit of artist’s inspiration. Instead, amplification of a particular part, commonly seen in his paintings and the depiction of unexpected angles are incorporated into his canvases as a whole. At a first glance, the main subjects, mountains and rocks, are nowhere to be found. Whereas as you take a closer look, they are always there in front of us, it's the unforeseen illusion which perplexes us.

Having studied in the Kassel Academy in Germany in his early days, Zhou Chunya has explored the field of Impressionism and Cubism under the influence of art theory in Europe. During his studies, he deeply explored the beauty within the primitive wildness under a great influence from neo-expressionism. After returning to China, he combined what he has observed overseas together with the spirit of literati landscape painting from his motherland. His painting portrays elegance yet the vigorousness, artfully integrates two extreme elements from Eastern and Western into one. Even with such a background, Zhou Chunya is an artist who is resistant to be classified. Regarded as an avant-garde artist, a neo-expressionist and so on, all these titles imposed on him by people have been once explicitly rejected by him in one interview. Only saying that he is "different", he hardly wants these existing titles to define him, his only pursuit is to honestly express himself at every stage.

In the early 1990s, Zhou Chunya began a period with his series of paintings "landscape and female body". At the beginning, the colors from his paintings still tended to be cool, yet the texture of the stone has been depicted in such a detail. At the same time, the women body painting has also became his focus. Both themes of landscape in the early stage and the woman body later on began to merge into one. Few years later, Zhou Chunya has chosen bolder and brighter colors. As shown in his artwork Ya'an Shangli, 94, No.5, the color blood red has been applied as it brings the direct impression of the combination of blood and flesh. It seems like a part of a living body at a very first glance. The overlapping of various shades of red creates an illusion of a living being. As well as taking advantage of his own strengths with stone texture depiction, Zhou Chunya richly depicts various textures in this street scene. The white color rendered in the center of the painting with the misty winding path brought this rigid painting a delicate touch of softness, the increasing flow adds more charm to the whole painting.

Shangli Town belongs to the famous rain city—Ya'an city in China. The ancient stone pathway in the ancient town is always heavy with moisture, people's contemplation and emotions arouse inevitably, so does Zhou Chunya’s. In a series of paintings depicting Ya'an Shangli, the main tone is bright red. Looking through Zhou Chunya's paintings, having such pure and expressive colors is also relatively distinctive. As an artist being honest with his true feelings, Zhou Chunya expresses directly beyond words in his paintings the state of his life at that time. In his prime, he turned the splendor of life into flesh-colored stones, there they are standing alone proudly, a perfect expression has fully revealed the blooming moments in the artist's life.

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