Fu Baoshi paintings on display are fakes, says his granddaughter

Art dealer says 15 paintings purporting to be her late grandfather’s work are not authentic

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 February, 2013, 1:59pm
UPDATED : Friday, 08 February, 2013, 9:37am

He is one of China's greatest artists, whose works sell for millions.

But all of the 15 paintings said to be by the late Fu Baoshi on show in a Hong Kong mall are fakes, according to his granddaughter, who appears in a TV show in which art works are scrutinised for their authenticity.

Jenny Pat, also known as Fu Leilei, said she went to the exhibition at Plaza Hollywood in Diamond Hill on Wednesday.

"I was shocked to see such poor quality fakes. It was the first time I realised that art exhibitions in Hong Kong had so many fakes," she told the South China Morning Post.

"Anyone with very basic knowledge and experience in art authentication could tell at first glance these paintings are fake. They are all one size and with the same mounting style, not to mention the poor drawing skills."

Pat said she had no intention of contacting Plaza Hollywood or Chiu Tai-loy, the 58-year-old Hong Kong-born collector who owns the paintings. "He [Chiu] should have known [the paintings were fake], particularly if he is an experienced art collector."

Chiu, who is now a British national and is also known as Zhao Tailai, did not reply to an e-mail inquiry by the Post.

The mall said it was checking the issues with Chiu and the exhibition would continue. It said Chiu was responsible for verifying the authenticity of the works.

In 2006 Chiu reportedly donated more than 58,000 artefacts - estimated at the time to be worth about HK$800 million - to museums on the mainland. This made him the biggest donor of historic relics in the country since 1949.

Fu Baoshi, from Xinyu , Jiangxi province, is regarded as the most original figure painter and landscapist in China's modern period. In 1933 he went to Japan to study the history of oriental art at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts. After returning, he taught in the art department of Central University, now Nanjing University.

A set of paintings by Fu illustrating poems by Mao Zedong fetched 230 million yuan at a Beijing auction in 2011.

Pat was born in Hong Kong in 1981 and worked for the China Guardian Auction Company and auctioneers Christie's for about six years.

She was one of five art dealers featured on Dealers, a reality television programme on the Discovery Channel. The show, which aired in 2011, invites people to submit their collectibles to dealers, who assess their authenticity.