(B. China, 1921-2013)
Soleil Couchant (Sleeping Sun), 2006
Signed in Chinese and Pinyin, and numbered 55/99
Silkscreen on arches paper
27.5 x 19.7 cm
Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur
Published in Christie’s Hong Kong
Asian 20th Century Art (Day Sale) (Lot 443)
Sale 3359 – November 23, 2014 auction catalogue
SOLD – RM 7,840
Born into a wealthy family in Beijing, his family encouraged his interest in art. He studied calligraphy and painting at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. His works are influenced by Paul Klee, Matisse, Picasso and Cézanne. Zao was a member of the Académie des beaux-arts and was said to be one of the most successful Chinese painters in the world.
His artworks are known to be completely subjective, especially the viewers come from different art backgrounds. Zao has mentioned before that despite the seeming slapdash effect that he applies in his painting, those with Western art backgrounds may see a mere play of colours and lines, but those who come from Chinese art backgrounds may even see water, wind or mountains. As in this piece, it may come off as simplistic and effortless, but it is Zao’s flawless execution and utmost elegance that created these flow of blue mountains and the muted sun that overlooks these massifs.
For the limited edition of the book Zao Wou-Ki, Carnets de voyage 1948-1952,
Albin Michel ed., 2006, based on a watercolour from 1950