Li's work shows his love for breathtaking scenery

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 October, 2007, 12:00am

Strikingly powerful verses reflect the visual imagery in Li Keran's On Mt. Loushan in which the Long March winds its way under a 'sunset in the colour of blood'.

The 1964 painting is among the choice lots of fine Chinese paintings up for sale in addition to works from the Robert Chang Collection.

The piece was inspired by Mao Zedong's poem about a significant victory during the campaign. By extracting the poem's mood, Li was able to eulogise the romantic revolutionary while blending the traditional with the modern.

Peach Blossom in Thin Drizzle (estimated HK$2.5-4 million) was composed in 1989, the year of the artist's death, and is probably the last of this kind of work.

From the age of 16 (1923) to 25, Li received his school education, albeit intermittently, in Jiangnan. Even after returning to his home village, he still displayed a longing for the region's breathtaking scenery, making it the subject matter in several of his works.

Fu Baoshi's (1904-1965) Douda Studio (estimated HK$1.5-2 million), completed in 1963, was dedicated to his soulmate, Tang Zunzhi, whom he never met.

Their friendship started with Tang's letter requesting a painting from the artist.

In their three years of acquaintance, scores of letters were exchanged over three years.

Zhao Shaoang's First Snow of Winter (estimated HK$400,000-600,000) was painted in 1967, an infertile year for the otherwise productive painter, most likely resulting from the onset of the Cultural Revolution the previous year. On a landscape painting composed in the autumn of that year, Zhao wrote a poem expressing his thoughts about the political turmoil.

Jiang Zhaohe's (1904-1986) Street Singers (estimated HK$80,000-120,000) is another sale highlight portraying the war-ravaged China of 1939. This painting, in immaculate condition, depicts a father and daughter living in exile, making their living as street performers.

C.K. Cheung, head of Chinese paintings, Sotheby's China and Southeast Asia, said: 'The most rigorous standards of expertise were applied in compiling this collection of quality Chinese paintings.

'The impressive prominence and variety in the autumn selection is also highlighted by another commission from Robert Chang.'

Previews: 10am-6.30pm, Thursday; 10am-7.30pm, Friday. Auction: 10am and 2.30pm, Saturday. Hall 2B (New Wing), HKCEC