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The Sanya Collection Josep Soler i Casanellas The history behind the only time than a few of the greatest Chinese contemporary artists met together and used traditional techniques. A set of 28 works 140x70 cm in brush and ink on xuan paper did in 2007 during a Gathering to Sanya .


Introduction This book is about friendship. That’s a story of friendship double. First, the story of the encounter of a generation of contemporary Chinese artists unprecedented group of the first artists who embraced contemporary art in China, a project around one of the most important personalities of Chinese art, Lü Peng. Second, and from the purchase of works of these artists, searching and finding friendship with Lü. About the history of friendship of the artists and how born The Sanya collection was we will have to let’s talk Lü. Sure than in the memory of the artists and the material collected by Lü will be much material and stories. But that must be Lü who bring to light in the future. In any case, it is a story unique in the world of art, as individual and competitive like it is. Only once has happen in the history of contemporary art, in the incipient boom years of 2007, with whom later became the greatest artists and where they worked together in a series of works using the techniques of traditional Chinese art, far from the oil, the acrylic and canvas usually used in their works. From the history of friendship with Lü is still continuing and I hope will continue for years. From the difficulties of finding him, the difficulties of communication, the difficulties to understand what I searched, have passed 5 years of exchanges of ideas, reflections, projects to promote Chinese contemporary art beyond the borders of China, and encounters in Amsterdam, Venice, Beijing, Chengdu, and Barcelona. China in 5 years has changed dramatically in economic terms and will hopefully do also in political terms. It is a world distant yet completely closed to us, very difficult to understand his dynamics, but hopefully with further and deeply collaboration of trade, ideas and travel we will promote mutual understanding and open the Country to new forms of freedom. JSC. March 2012

The Origin: how become a collector accidentally I know, I know, my narrative is not from a “curator” point of view rather from a collector and an initial commercial point of view. Let me say an enthusiast collector. But this need not detract at all the value of the collected and the public interest of this set of exceptional works. I received the Christie’s catalogue for the auction on Nov 25, 2007 and I registered because I wanted a Yue Minjun if the price were to be within my budget. Turning the pages over and over again for several days I realized The Sanya collection and the explanation attached, but I believed this would be very expensive, considering the Christie’s estimated price. The auction confirmed me that Yue was unaffordable, but regarding the Sanya collection… I was surprised there was not a big interest during the auction. The auction started with bad signs, one hour delay in Christies live due to excess of public. That means only one thing: too much interest, bids too high. In fact, despite a fair budget, I only can bid at the beginning of the lots. I lost the Yue's, the Tang's... The Sanya collection approaches but my chances were very few, all the lots before reached a very high prices, the lot before, an oil on paper by Zhang Xiaogang, reached 1.800.000HKD, plus auction fees, plus shipment, plus import taxes... The Sanya collection contained at least two very nice Zhang's, one Yue Minjun face smiling, Wang’s, Zeng’s lines, Zhou blossoms, Mao Paternalism, Ye birds... and despite there were in ink, the price will be high, I thought. The bid started, one click, answer, another click, I thought now will start the war, nothing, a voice “one”, the amount in green in my screen, again “two for internet bidder”, pause, ????, estrange, “third for internet bidder”. It was mine!!! Where was the mistake, I told to me. 28 works, greatest contemporary artists, color ink, traditional tools... I did not understand why so few interest, I had to wait for receiving the works in order to be sure I did not make a mistake. Which? I do not know, but someone sure. They arrived, no mistake, on the contrary, the works arrived framed, and they look much nicer than in the catalog's picture where they were altogether attached in two pages as drawings of a child. Then the problem was that I waited for 28 pieces of paper and I received 28 framed works, where to put them? Where to storage them? Well, that's another history. I do not understand this lack of interest because of several reasons: - The honorable purpose of the sale 4

- The idea of the collection - The works are by the most valuable contemporary artists - They are unique and rare works because they are painted by contemporary artists with traditional tools - They are unique because they link contemporary and tradition - They are unique and rare because the artists never did that and probably never will do this again - Someone who would like to support the idea could bid for the woks. Well, the only reason I can think of is that people only want to speculate, to buy recognizable works and in canvas support. They do not think at long term and about the intrinsic value of the works. Despite all this, I think it is a very good business; the works of Zhang Xiaogang alone could get a big price. The lot before was an oil on paper (52x76cm) sold at 1.800.000 HKD (160.000€ or 230.000$) plus 20% buyer’s premium. Any small piece of paper of Basquiat, Warhol or Picasso is valued hundreds of thousands of US dollars. Until I receive the works at home and see them I would not believe the price I paid for them. And considering it is largely the higher price I ever paid for a painting. Anyway, I wanted to go deep about that even before receiving the paintings because I would like to know who painted what because not all the works were recognizable and any label was attached. Three works of Zhang Xiaogang were very recognizable, one Yue Minjun with a smile face also, Wang’s for his let’s say easy work, Ye Yongqing for his traditional work, Mao Xuhui for his scissors, Zeng Fanzhi for his lines and Zhou for his early landscapes, other less. My idea is to maintain the collection with all the information and materials, and the “spirit” which drove the gathering first and the collection afterward. On top of this I would like to buy, step by step and depending on the budget available each year, one work from each one of the artists* who went to the gathering. I believe “the Sanya Collection” could be an exhibition per se. But thinking about that, I told myself why not to suggest Lü Peng to do something more and take advantage of the great idea of the gathering and sold the works all together like a Collection: “the Sanya Collection”. To do something more to help him also in to rise founds. Why not to write a book about your Sanya gathering? I very much liked the description in the catalogue and the answers from the artists, therefore why not to explain it in a book. A book containing an explanation of the works, but also with the 5

travel comments and landscape descriptions, the ideas emerged during the gathering, the situation of the artists in the art world, their opinions and thoughts, asking them for contributions, anecdotes, their experiences in this world which is changing so fast and so positively for them… I think you had a unique opportunity to share a trip experience with the most important contemporary artists, all together. Capitalist market moves very fast and probably they will never meet again like this. A book between an “on the road” novel, a critic research and an art book. Once received the collection I can affirm that it has been a great acquisition, the works framed win in quality and become more powerful, to see the fragility of do so by ink much more. Each work has something in se, but the interpretation of the Zhang works with traditional tools is extremely qualitative. The exercise of Yue Minjun ahead of smile faces is also appreciated (a curiosity, the work was prepared to hold in vertical, probably it’s difficult to understand if you are not familiar with his work and see it from away), the Zhou blossoms, the watermelon of Zeng... Each work is great per se, but the whole is magnificent, unique and rare. I’m sure, the value of each work separately is bigger than the whole collection, but that’s the difference between speculate and become a collector. Thanks to Mao Xuhui, Wang Guangyi, Wu Shanzhuan, Ye Yongqing, Yue Minjun, Zeng Fanzhi, Zhang Xiaogang, Zhang Peili and Zhou Chunya for maintain this spirit of a generation of Chinese painting. And thanks to Lü Peng for maintain them linked. JSC. December 2007.

*Note in 2012: It has been impossible because of the high prices achieved by each of them.


The Story behind the Works from 'Sanya Elegant Gathering' The idea of having a relaxing gathering with friends has been on my mind for a while. Since 1993, Chinese artists have frequently participated in international and many other exhibitions. Since the late 90s, and especially nowadays, few artists have been able to relax and rest because of their active involvement in exhibitions and activities. I started to write 20th Century Chinese Art History in 2004, and at that time I talked to Wang Guangyi, Wu Shanzhuan and Zhou Chunya about a possible gathering in the future. The chance came as my book was going to be published in January 2007. I knew I could get the artists together under the pretext of discussing it. I began to contact Wang Guangyi, Zhou Chunya, Wu Shanzhuan, Mao Xuhui, Zhang Xiaogang, Fang Lijun, Zeng Fanzhi, Li Luming, Ye Yongqing, Yue Minjun and Zhang Peili in December 2006, and invited them for a gathering in Sanya. Everybody was strongly interested in this idea and so the "elegant gathering" by the sea was confirmed in mid-December. Unfortunately, because I adjusted the meeting time later, Fang Lijun could not make this appointment as he had to go to Hong Kong for an activity. Of course, this was not only a vacation. I arranged a "brush meeting", where all the artists gather together and paint on the same subject. Not only because this was a traditional custom for Chinese scholars when they met together at gatherings, but also I was thinking that I could bring the calligraphy and paintings to auction after the gathering, and use the proceedings to support AAA's (Asian Art Archive) academic research and my own art history teaching program. Of course, I do not see this "brush meeting" as a formal academic activity. I asked my friend in Nanjing to purchase xuan paper, brush, ink and four albums for me, as my plan was to let the artists paint without restraint in a relaxing environment with our traditional utilities instead of oil paint. Our gathering started on the evening of January 9th. We flew to Tianhong Resort in Sanya from different cities that day, and Zhou Chunya was the last one to arrive. Tianhong Resort was the smallest hotel in Sanya's Yalong Bay, thus it was most suitable for a private gathering, for we could avoid of the crowds of tourists. After dinner that evening, the artists finished four albums and a few individual ink on xuan paper paintings in the meeting room by the resort's swimming pool. 7

In this most relaxed and casual atmosphere, most of the abstract ink works were completed by brush and, in some cases, hands. The artists that were present are not considered traditional Chinese painters, and they seldom use brushes or ink. Consequently, they were able to apply ink in a totally free way. Zhang Peili completed most of his works by hand. Everybody was so excited, and some paintings were results of group efforts. We went to Mount Nan the next day. None of us would have thought that one day, we, the modern artists, the avant-garde artists, the pioneer artists, and the contemporary artists, would worship in a Buddhist temple with incense. All of us felt that time had flown quickly in the past decades, and that our understanding and perception of life had changed significantly. The artists donated generously to the temple, and the scene of Wang Guangyi, Zhang Xiaogang and Zhang Peili worshiping devotedly in the temple impressed me deeply. We returned to the resort after dinner, and everybody remained in a peaceful state of mind. We talked about the past and present state of Chinese art, people and circumstances. In a peaceful atmosphere, Zhang Xiaogang, Mao Xuhui, Ye Yongqing and Zhou Chunya completed different number of paintings, and most of the consignments for this auction were completed that night. I have included many contemporary artists in my book 20th Century Chinese Art History. The place that important events have taken in Chinese art history, from the Modernism campaign in the late 70s to today's contemporary art, is an issue that concerns most of us. In fact, I hoped through this gathering I could listen to opinions from different artists on this matter. Though their thoughts and opinions may not be bases for my future research on Chinese art history, their feedbacks were beneficial nonetheless. To my great joy, I managed to achieve my goal. As a member of AAA's academy council, I believe that AAA's work is most helpful for the research in Asian contemporary arts (including Chinese art, of course). It is therefore my continuous goal to contribute to this cause. At the same time, as a lecturer in the Department of History of Art at the China Academy of Fine Arts, I hope that my students can have achievements in their studies of contemporary arts. They need to collect information and interview artists in their research, which requires financial aids. I would like to take any opportunity to help their endeavors, and that the "Sanya Elegant Gathering" is an excellent way to do this. I hope that these works completed by the artists whilst in high spirits can be sold successfully and collected by those who really appreciate them; and that the proceeds will fund AAA's research and part of my art history teachings.


To take such an opportunity and carry out this idea relies on the artists. Therefore I would like to thank all the artists who attended "Sanya Elegant Gathering": Only because of your generous participation that this charitable cause was possible. The images and marks you have left are historical memories. I would also like to thank the AAA. My idea was supported and encouraged by Claire Hsu and Jane Debevoise, who helped turn these works into something that will benefit AAA's cause. In addition I would like to thank Christie's Hong Kong for their understanding and constructive advice to put these works as a charity auction, which makes the art and the auction particularly special. Thus, I cannot help but express my appreciation again! L端 Peng Tuesday, July 10, 2007.


INK vs ACRILYC It was not the objective of the Gathering and in those past days there was not any debate regarding the influence of ink in the new contemporary art. The years passed and now in 2103-14 this debate emerge on the surface at the meantime that artists ask themselves about tradition and Chinese history and behavior. 水墨画 Ink and Brush painting is one of China's oldest and best known art forms; its centrality to Chinese art history is comparable to that of oil painting in Western art since the Renaissance. Its sophisticated techniques allow for the recording of delicate visual impressions on absorbent rice paper. Traditional artists who work in this medium usually create blackand-white works which are understood and evaluated in relation to a system termed the “rhythm of the ink,” through which subtly different applications and gradations of ink--including wet, dry, light, dark, burned, and others--express concepts such as purity, self-reflection, and human nature. Since the founding of the PRC, Ink and Brush painting has met with varied responses from both officials and artists, who have created entirely new genres from this traditional art form. “New ink wash has attained tremendous developments since stepping into the new millennium and has gradually obtained attention from academia and scholarly institutions, which has led to an array of important exhibitions. As demonstrated by such critical and exploratory exhibitions, new ink art is apparently in a phase of dynamic development and progress. This is why discussions have been stirred up at the current juncture. Compared to the new ink wash of the 1980s, the new ink art of the new century not only stresses interaction with the contemporary moment and everyday life but also accentuates the expression of concepts about and concerns for the living conditions of the human race, gradually also coming to learn from various emerging art forms like installation and video art, and even from non-art territories like advertising and animation. These new areas of focus have greatly expanded the territories of expression in ink wash. Throughout this process, twodimensional ink painting has ceaselessly motivated its self-transformation and self-extension to a point of completion, while at the same time establishing its influence and position in academia. Meanwhile, the development of multi-dimensional ink painting as a whole has evidently acquired more attention due to the impetus generated by new art methodologies. Artists like Xu Bing (b.1955), Gu Wenda, and Qiu Anxiong (b.1972) -along with many other artists engaged in forms of artistic practice including installation, video, oil painting, sculpture, and performance- boldly merge traditional and Western concepts; traditional and contemporary resources; traditional and Western techniques in a seamless unity, bringing to ink 10

art many new elements that deserve our earnest scrutiny.” From The Formation and Development of New Ink Art in China by Lu Hong – Artistic Director, Shenzhen Art Museum ( Therefore, this exhibition aims to examine this traditional medium through a modern lens and presents works that reinterpret the ink painting tradition and innovate in terms of technique, presentation and subject matter. The aim is to engage audiences in a dialogue on the ways in which works of art in a traditional medium can be innovative and be translated into the language of global contemporary art. For over a thousand years, the Chinese ink painting medium has been central to the development of China’s art history. Using brush, ink and paper, artists perfected their skills and depicted their universe, successfully intertwining the ink tradition and the unique aesthetics of Chinese art. Ink paintings, like all works of art, are a product of their society, embodying and creating viewpoints, provocations, and new horizons. During the Cultural Revolution, art schools were closed, and publication of art journals and major art exhibitions ceased with major destructions done as part of the elimination of Four Olds campaign. Following the Cultural Revolution, art schools and professional organizations were reinstated. Exchanges were set up with groups of foreign artists. Chinese artists began to experiment with new subjects and techniques in their attempt to bring Chinese painting to a new height. After a century of transformation that included great political, economic and cultural change, China is actively re-defining its identity and direction. When China opened its door to the world in the late 1970s, the course of its contemporary art trajectory also changed. Some artists quickly adopted once discarded Western techniques. The artists represented in this exhibition were trained in traditional Chinese painting and most received education after China opened its door to the world in 1979. The artists were introduced to a variety of Western styles and techniques and decided to break up with the tradition as their mode of expression. Moreover than they achieve the maximum reconnaissance with their works in oil and they are know now as the fathers of the contemporary Chinese art and tigers of it. It’s almost impossible, today, not only to gather together these great artists, but show their old works in one exhibition. JSC. February 2014


ZHANG XIAOGANG Elder Brother, Lu Peng: I hope you are well. I feel so warm after reading your words about Sanya. I believe what we have discussed, did and thought in Sanya will show their historic meaning and cultural value as time passes by. I totally agree with the way you support AAA's work and development by consigning our spontaneous paper works made in Sanya to an auction. Thanks for all you have done. Regards, and have a nice summer, Zhang Xiaogang June 15th, 2007. Zhang Xiaogang (张晓刚; born in 1958 in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province, in Southwestern China) is a contemporary Chinese symbolist and surrealist. Paintings in his Bloodline series are often monochromatic, stylized portraits of Chinese people, usually with large, dark-pupil eyes, posed in a stiff manner deliberately reminiscent of family portraits from the 1950s and 1960s. For years, his works - like those of other avant-garde artists of his generation - could not be exhibited in China, often because they were deemed too modern or questionable. When Zhang discovered photographs of his mother as a young beautiful woman during the Cultural Revolution, he decided to make that a centerpiece of his work. Zhang found the photographs of his parents as a young couple in 1993. He discovered that his mother had been a very pretty girl, that she had a romantic streak, and that she loved music, but that due to circumstances she had become a civil servant. "Society changed her into a different person," he said. "Personal needs and the demands of society are two different things." Since then, Zhang Xiaogang become the most valued Chinese contemporary artist with a record in April 2011 at Sotheby’s his earlier work Forever lasting love reached 9.000.000$ (image below name). Surpassed in 2013 by Zeng Fanzhi’s Last supper. 12

Zhang’s artworks focus on the relationship with past, memory and history. The artist has always placed an emphasis on the existence of history and memory in the present. In his works, history exists in the present, there is no way to erase it, and it is continuously being revised. It is impossible to not involve history; our current perception is too derived from our memories. Zhang has always been a traditional artist, who expresses man’s experiences and emotions through his paintings. Those scintillating spots, scars and lines on his canvases reveal the references to history and the release of emotions. Such traditional expression and the insistence on it bring us back to the belief in and worship of painting’s narrative. His effort is to reemphasize the power of emotion and feeling over the “super-flat” and “cool.” More recent works by Zhang Xiaogang of the Amnesia and Remembrance series deal with the workings of memory. The artist is interested in how memory can be selective and often inaccurate. Here the artist draws upon elements of his very early work prior to 1993, light bulbs, and open books with writing, pens etc. A recent series of canvases has seen Zhang return to the surrealist motifs of his youth, with severed limbs and detached, but still beating, hearts puncturing scenes in which figures lounge in chairs amidst a vast industrial landscape. In 2011 -2012, China's most expensive living artist hasn't been allowed to paint due to fragile health, doctor's orders. In the Sanya collection all three are incredible works of Zhang, adjusting to his subjects, but with the lightness, the softness of its lines, the works are even more sensitive, more ethereal. Have a pulse to keep the lines as thin and a sublime match the color. A way to return the contemporaneity to traditional or how the tradition can be contemporary. And yet, the works retain all of its time. 13




YUE MINJUN This great gathering will become a historical memory! This graffiti has recorded our rebellion and craziness! A book of Chinese art history starts the new era of arts! Yue Minjun June 18th, 2007 Yue Minjun (岳敏君; born in 1962 in the town of Daqing in Heilongjiang). He was having a hard time at the Oilfield (1980). He is best known for oil paintings depicting himself in various settings, frozen in laughter. The roots of Yue Minjun's style can be traced back to the work of Geng Jianyi, whose work depicted Geng's own laughing face, which had first inspired Yue.

hearted approach to contemplation of existence.

He has also reproduced this signature image in sculpture, watercolor and prints. While Yue is often classified as part of the Chinese “Cynical Realist” movement in art developed in China since 1989, Yue himself rejects this label, while at the same time "doesn't concern himself about what people call him." Yue Minjun work has been called humorous and sympathetic. Arguably his paintings provide a lightphilosophical enquiry and

"Yes, of course the smiles are a trick," he says. "I wanted to hide the bad feelings behind a smile. In this way everyone can accept it. This is related to traditional culture and the history of Chinese literature. You can't 17

show what you really want." He added: "In Chinese tradition you can't say things directly. You have to show something else for the real meaning. I wanted to show a happy smile and show that behind it is something sad, and even dangerous." One of the most recognizable artists in the West for their smiling faces, smiling a self-portrait. One of the artists trying to evolve, leaving behind these icons. From his Landscape with No One series in which he removes figures from historical Chinese socialist paintings and well-known western paintings. “Typical socialist paintings in China looked very realistic but were indeed surreal. They served for heroic fantasies, and the images of great people or the heroes in the paintings could well justify the fabricated scenes.”; their smiling faces; to the interpretation of the great traditional Chinese artists in his Labyrinth series, in this particular works Yue Minjun adopts the black-and-white technique of Chinese classical painting to reintroduce the precious Chinese cultural heritage and its wealth of painting epitomized by maestros like Qi Baishi, Zhang Daqian, and Xu Beihong, which the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) suppressed for the reason of being part of the feudalistic “old culture”; or the last coming back to his firsts motives with a series of pieces re-appropriating classical Christian paintings like The Annunciation except the main characters are missing leaving empty structures and buildings. He says he wants to express a sense of loss, of meaninglessness in the world. And again, it is a trick, a bit cynical and deceptive. Is he mocking western art? Is he saying the great figures of the west have disappeared? Or have these works lost their relevance? That, it seems, is for the art critics and collectors to decipher. His strokes in The Sanya Collection are strong here, both in the smiling face, and in the two papers that appear a relationship with nature, a reinterpretation of the classic landscapes of traditional art. 18




ZENG FANZHI Hello, Lu Peng! First of all, I would like to thank you for inviting me to this Sanya gathering. It was a wonderful gathering. We had the chance to discuss and recall people and events in 1985, in which I learned and understood a lot. Of course, I agree that you bring our co-works to auction to support AAA and your work! Thanks again! Zeng Fanzhi July 3'd, 2007. Zeng Fanzhi (曾梵志 born 1964 in Wuhan). He is noted for his Mask series of portraits depicting Chinese people of the 1990s. In May 2008, one of them, Mask Series 1996 No. 6, was auctioned for $9.7 million, a record for contemporary Asian art. By volume has become in 2011 the Chinese artist most desired by collectors. His Last Supper reached the highest record ever for 23,1MUSD in October 2013. The latter is their particular line using four brushes. Zeng's Hospital Series is of his earliest work, and exemplifies his correlative approach between painting and psychology. His A&E waiting room is portrayed with overwhelming banality and trauma: muted tones replicate the staleness of public space, the milling crowds in the background appear hazy and remote, while rusty washes pour over the canvas replicating blood, sorrowful and repugnant. Sat center stage are a distraught patient and cavalier doctor, juxtaposed as human anguish and the white-coated horror of bureaucracy. Their heads and hands are aggrandized to painful and clumsy scale in grotesque parody of thought and action. Zeng's magnificent landscapes express the vast conceptual gulf between individual cognition and the actuality of environment. Painting with two brushes simultaneously, Zeng uses one to describe his subject, while the other meanders the canvas, leaving traces of his subconscious through processes. Through this combination of painterly realism and 'automatic' expression, 22

Zeng's landscapes are transformed into near abstract fields; the depicted people and places merging both memory and imagination. In his well-known “Mask� series, Zeng’s figures wear a white mask; they are mostly well-dressed urbanites, but they have large, strange hands, weird expressions, blank stares or puzzling eyes. His works often have sharp brush strokes, or even slashing strokes that reveal tensions in what might be seen in a splintered universe. An example of the simplification of the art that we have in The Sanya Collection. These inks on paper work are a magnificent and rare example of artist Zeng Fanzhi's iconic and immediately recognizable expressionistic style. At times faint and wandering, at others aggressive and definite, the dynamic and complex bundle of lines that slowly unravel across the page, are a testament to the artist's experiments with subconscious expression through an 'automated' process. Evoking Zeng's landscape paintings, in which the artist uses one hand to create his subject while simultaneously using his other hand in an automatic fashion, this work conveys Zeng's meditative and subconscious working method. Ultimately, this drawing encapsulates the psychological tension for which Zeng is famous, and is a rare and stunning testament to the imagination and emotional range of the artist. "Watermelon" has strong symbolic implication. The cut open red pulp associates with silent violence and protest, extending previous claiming of topics like Peking Union Medical College Hospital, mask, etc. Image of watermelon has once appeared in his early self-portrait or in the theme of Last Supper, symbolizing blood and flesh. Here, the independently existing "Watermelon" presents the full visual sense resembling silent monolog of the painter. By the way, he is the unique artists that in the past used ink and he is now also doing a few works exploring the capabilities of the ink. 23





ZHOU CHUNYA The Trip to Sanya Previously I have mysterious feelings towards the sea, and luxurious feeling towards sunshine. Both of them are so attractive to people who live in cloudy inland areas. Even the air becomes precious as time goes by. A place with fresh air also has people over 100 years old living there. Only one place has premium sunshine, air and sea, and it is Sanya. I cannot forget my first trip to Sanya. Zhou Chunya. Zhou Chunya (周春芽, born in 1955 in Chongqing) is best-known for his colorful “green dog” series of paintings, a dearly loved German Shepherd. But he is also considered one of the country’s most talented painters of nature and rural scenes. His works is almost expressionists, sometimes using jagged brush strokes and other times creating colorful, blurred sweeping landscapes. His canvases are often filled with figures left alone in the world or nature scenes devoid of humans. In recent years, he has begun to paint a series of portraits filled with sexual scenes in nature. Zhou usually does this via his sensibility for color (which always escapes being a language) and through the very desire to activate the iconographic tradition of Chinese painting. The arena of neoexpressionism is the politics of the responsible Self, allied to the exploration of a divided Self, and the celebration of nature’s encompassing energies. If the ‘Green Dog’ paintings delve into Eros, the rock paintings have the undercurrent of the death instinct, whilst the floral series hold out for survival, security and care.


It wasn't just German Neo-Expressionism that inspired him, but his German Shepherd, Heigen. The dog became his chief subject for more than ten years. Zhou describes the green dog as a sort of symbolic self-portrait. He interprets the background as a field of uncertainty, loneliness, and distance between people, while the dogs express a wide variety of emotions. “[The Green Dog’s] image and situation project my cultural characters and my circumstance of reality in life.” Sadly, in 1999, died, possibly poisoned by a neighbor, resulting in the artist's sorrowful refusal to paint for more than a year. Zhou did return to his favorite subject and recently completed several sculptures of the dog with a shiny coat of green industrial paint. Following the death of his dog, Zhou began to paint peach blossoms in appreciation of the value and beauty of life. Watching the flowers blossom in spring, he was deeply moved by their “flirtatious” energy and vigor. This led to a series of peach blossom expressing the primitive desire of human beings and the theme of “sex and emotion.” Bright red, sinuously shaped men embrace pink women, whom Zhou heatedly describes: “In a fluid emotion and mood of colors, flows indulgence of primitive and sincere imaginations. It is the total release of human nature against a grand scene, an explosion of gentle violence!” In his fusion of delicate flowers and unbridled human passion, Zhou couples traditionally modest Chinese subjects and modern, more liberal attitudes to sexuality. The brushwork for mountain rock is a very important category for Chinese traditional landscape paintings. It has five approaches in respect to tick, crimple, rub, dye and dot. The form and the structure of mountain rock decide the expression of the painting methods, and in turn, different styles and genres are formed. The work like in the "Peach Blossoms" series resonates with bright greens, pinks and reds, which are worked with free and flowing brush strokes creating a vivid and enticing scene. Although reminiscent of traditional Chinese paintings the energetic and vivid strokes set the works apart from the soft and elegant images traditionally rendered. Both the colors and the compositions have a bold and unrestrained expression as if emotions have been set free. Zhou is considered the greatest master in the use of colors in Chinese contemporary painting. In fact, he is the only one who has dared to so many colors. But the latter, proof of its dominance is seen in the second work using only shades of gray to represent one of the famous peach blossoms approaching a kind of abstraction work but showing a strong impressionism. 28



WANG GUANGYI We were together because of Lu Peng's 20th Century of Chinese Art. Thus, these wonderful texts and images were born. Wang Guangyi Wang Guangyi (王广义, born in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province in 1956 or 1957), is known for being the leader of the New Art Movement circles that erupted out of China after 1989 and for his Great Criticism series of paintings, using the images of propaganda from the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) and contemporary brand names from western advertising. As an example, Artinfo notes that one of Wang Guangyis’s Great Criticism paintings “responds to the recent influx of advertising by juxtaposing the Coca-Cola logo with an image of a Chinese soldier, appropriating the visual iconography of both the Chinese Cultural Revolution and American pop art.” Through his critique, Guangyi’s paintings weave intricate narratives, implicating the role of the artist as an active participant (both as subjugator and subservient) in economic and social policy. Guangyi treads a very delicate line between moral dictum and capitalist endorsement; the interpretation of his paintings alternates with the subjectivity of context. Amalgamating, confusing, and blurring opposing ideological beliefs, Guangyi’s billboard sized canvases readily sell out national valor, while simultaneously devaluing status symbol luxury for the proletariat cause. Coma back to origins, “The ‘Frozen Northern Wasteland’ series (85’s) is not just a painting effort, it is a laudatory declaration of our ideological and cultural condition. When humans have suffered the philosophical paradoxes of life, they are left with the residual hopes of rebuilding an existential harmony.” In stark contrast to the Revolutionary Realist “red, 31

bright and shining” workers, farmers and soldiers that he painted as a young Red Guard, by 1985 Wang had distilled Nietzsche’s Übermensch, or “Superman,” into icy, abstract, alien beings. For Mao Zedong AO (1988), Wang applied his rational grid onto a triple portrait of the Chairman, displaying an affinity with Pop appropriation and repetition. As Dürer had done, buffering himself from the nude, with the grid Wang tried to distance himself, and the viewer, from Mao as a seductive figure of adoration. Yet Wang admits he did not totally succeed in removing emotion, as he did in his “Post-Classical” and “Red and Black Rationality” series. His painting actually seems to add a deeper, awe-inspiring aura to Mao’s image, perhaps because he employed the standard portrait’s style of realism, or due to its sheer size—an imposing 3.5 meters in width. Wang is now using rich strokes that drip into abstract patterns reminiscent of traditional Chinese ink-and-wash landscapes. His 16-meter-long The Last Supper (2012), a version of the Da Vinci masterpiece, contains such hidden vistas, in a new synthesis of Eastern and Western classical traditions. What happened to the grid? “When I was younger… I was really into this rational theory,” Wang says. “Growing older, I started to realize that you cannot be rational about everything; there may be some mysterious things that you cannot grasp rationally but can still appreciate. Now I’m interested in mysterious subjects. And Mao still represents this mystery.” The works from The Sanya collection probably go a step forward in his criticism, reflecting all his thoughts. From hyperrealism to the abstract. How many works of nudes or regarding sex or photography has been shown in China right now? Just a few, maybe for that the importance of the word SEX in this works, and the link with ART? Perhaps beyond what the words mean, of the interrelationships and consequences. In any case Wang Guangyi remains the leader of the Chinese Contemporary painters and one who always looks for new forms of expression within the art world, caring little market value. 32






85x70cm 37

MAO XUHUI Lu Peng, Greetings! Your letter and words brought me back to beautiful Sanya. As you mentioned, our gathering was most restful. I live in plateau area without a glimpse of sea, so the trip to Sanya left me deep and wonderful memories: the moist air, the soft sunshine, the transparent greenish-blue sea and the beach with our footprints ... Of course we also had academic activities. With the publishing of the first book in 20th century Chinese art history, a group of artists who have contributed positively to Chinese contemporary art had the chance to get together. We reviewed history, looked forward to the future, and painted free and relaxed with brushes under a harmonious and pleasant atmosphere. Having heard that these spontaneous works will be consigned to a renowned auction house in Asia, with the income being used to support AAA and your own teaching, I am indeed very happy! I think this is most meaningful and I am honored that my work can contribute to your cause! Meanwhile, say Hello to Sanya! Have a nice summer, Da Mao (Mao Xuhui) Mao Xuhui (毛旭辉, was born in Chongqing, Sichuan in 1956), the idealistic leader of the mid-1980s Southwest Art Group, which included Zhang Xiaogang and Pan Dehai, has never strayed far from Kunming and Gui Mountain in Yunnan province, the wellspring of his creativity. Mao Xuhui began to take "power" as a theme in 1989 with the Parents series of paintings. The centerpiece of ‘92 Paternalism is an ordinary chair, with a key and a door on the sides. They are all symbols of quotidian objects, common in appearance and yet profoundly lodged with Confucian orthodoxy and the patriarch philosophy of the Chinese feudal society. While the colour black and the style of the chair effect a solemn, intricate impression, its upright arm and back lift straight up whoever sits on the chair. With such positional altitude, the chair engenders a sense of distance to the audience as compared to those postures of standing and sitting on

ground. This type of chair, by tradition, is in the best way symbolic of the power and prestige of the nobility and bureaucrat; conventionally stalled in the hall; it signifies the status of the host in formal occasions or ceremonies. The inspiration of Mao, in his appropriation of the symbol of authority and power, originates from his thorough understanding of the traditional Chinese patriarchy and ethical philosophy - that there is a proper order between old and young, rich and poor. Just as the father exercises absolute sovereignty in a family, the emperor demands unquestioning obedience from his citizens. This is how the chair becomes the symbol of a fundamental concept respecting the relationship between altitude, sitting posture and social class. In 1992 he completed the Vocabulary of Power series. It was from the image of the "parent" that the "scissors" was developed. The "parent" is an iconic yet shapeless shadow seated on an overwhelming altar-like throne. It is aloof and awe-inspiring, like a religious icon. The stylized shape of the "parent" resembles a pair of scissors, and it gradually becomes one which, in the Scissors series, presides over domestic settings as the "parent" would sit upon the altar. The menacing presence of the scissors is compounded as an instrument of the everyday; as such it is a domestic as well as "democratic" symbol, carrying associated powers by being visually suggestive of the anthropomorphic god-like "parent" icon. It was not until 2011 that the auction of his early works its price rose sharply, placing it in the position he deserved in Chinese contemporary art. The works in the Sanya collection keep the issues of Mao Xuhui represented in the series of Paternalism, the chair with the icons. In this works he is much more intensive because the chair remains alone, isolated in an island and at the meantime the chair dominates the island and the whole picture. In the Sanya collection, two years later the sunshine overwrites the clouds. Therefore, the works in Sanya are so important, they are the translation of the issues of Mao Xuhui (scissors and paternalism series) with classical tools, bringing simplicity to them against the more complex oil on canvas. 39




YE YONGQING At the beginning of this year, Beijing was still cold. Remnant snow was everywhere, and the city was in a depression. I got a text message from Lu Peng, in which he used the words, blue sky, white cloud, beach, palm trees, sunshine and short sleeve T-shirt, to describe our upcoming gathering in Sanya. Names on the invitation were old friends that I have known for decades. For many years, gatherings had happened occasionally in different places around the world, but these people are always the focus of discussion. Lu's new art history of 100 years brings us not only memory, but also numerous questions. The three days in Sanya passed by quickly, but fortunately the past, the current and the future life of Lu Peng's art history remains. If these spontaneous ink play and graffiti works can do something for the past, the current and the future life of our art history, I am more than happy to see the results. -Ye Shuai (Ye Yongqing) June 17th, 2007 Beijing. Ye Yongqing (叶永青 was born in 1958 in Kunming, Yunnan Province) is a pioneering artist who was part of the Sichuan School of artists. He has spent much of his career painting portraits of birds, one with jagged, clever lines. He also has focused in recent years on creating colorful collages. Currently the 1st president and artistic director of China Contemporary Art Institute of China Academy of Art founded in 2010. I admit, I do not know before, his work on the Gathering are the most traditional, and I change now when I see them closely, I must say that the cranes are incredible, the set of strokes and drops of varying intensity are marvelous and ink red and green gives an incredible force. They appreciated the difficulty of working with ink. I confess that it is the one that most attracts me to see their current work completely away from 43

traditionalism and closer to Basquiat trying to explain a lot of things in a piece of paper or canvas. Trying to motivate the viewer to think about. In addition to reading an article by Lü Peng, he is the one who has made a very strong intellectual activity and certainly the most unfortunate with the success. Surely he has more technical skills in the use of ink among the other artists; his other works are also exceptional. Ye Yongqing’s “birds” have had a long history, going through its own spiritual development. They were conceived during China’s “Ideological Emancipation Movement”, which endowed them with romance and sentiment in preparation for their spiritual development. The birds were born in an age of social unrest and confusion, when it was showered with an evolutionary storm of ideology and perception, which also made it timeless and adaptive to any environment. Later, the birds matured in the process of globalization, making them aware of the distracting thoughts and the dust of individualism at its heart. At the end, the birds finally realized that they were nothing - just a snapshot of the artist’s mentality at a certain, specific time. Like Marcel Duchamp’s urinal, they represent the transition of conception. Therefore, we don’t have to bear too much aesthetical burden in reading the “birds” which is compatible with any space, and any interpretation from the audience could be plausible. However, I have to remind you that it’s still necessary to know the growing history of the “birds”, otherwise how could we possibly understand the “birds” as a symbol the artist uses to connect his past, present and future?







WU SHANZHUAN Chóng fù jiū shì lì liàng yī jiǔ bā wǔ nián, wán quán wù lǐ èr líng líng líng nián! (Repetition is power 1985! Completed physics 2000!) Repeat these words five times and you will get a total of 100 Chinese characters. Plus" Sān Yà Yǎ Jí" (Sanya Elegant Gathering) has four characters. Multiplied by this by two equals 108* characters! - Wu Shanzhuan *Note from the translator: Mr. Wu here is making an allusion to 108 heroic outlaws in the famous Chinese epic Outlaws of the Marsh, to symbolize the Chinese contemporary and avant-garde artists' rebellious hearts. Wu Shanzhuan (吴 专 was born in 1960 in Zhoushan) is one of the most influential artists in the avant-garde movement. He rose to prominence in the 1980s as a long-haired conceptual artist known for his experimental works with language and the use of big character posters, a kind of precursor to the better known works of Gu Wenda and Xu Bing, which also toyed with language and meaning. Wu was part of the red humor group, engaged in performance art, created installations, appeared at the famed no u turn exhibition in 1989, he created a “Big Business” performance that involved selling shrimp; and later left for Europe, where he spent more than a decade in Germany and Iceland before returning to China in 2005. His works are filled with satire, language tricks, symbols and radical games. He often posed nude in his art works, for a while with his former wife, Inga Thorsdottir. His work is filled with absurd imagery and fantastical language. As one of the leaders of the Chinese Conceptual Movement in 1980s, Wu Shanzhaun was the first artist in China to incorporate textual pop references into his work. Wu’s pivotal 1986 installation, Red Humour International, laid the foundation for his highly idiosyncratic and sophisticated approach to painting, which forgoes image in favor of political jingoism, religious scripture, and advertising slogans. 50

Wu’s unique process of painting as writing is exemplified in his Today No Water series. Conceived as a graphic novel, each canvas is a chapter of a continuous stream of consciousness narrative. These works don’t tell a story per se, but rather present a visual tension between fragmented phrases and images, culminating in dizzying compositions that map out free-style associations of ideas, references, and symbols. True to his art of storytelling. The art to write and the billboard for the collection. I like very much his last works, using strong colorful images and words to reinforce the message, his work on ink is really interesting. For the artist who use more words in his works, the less. According to Stanley-Baker, "Calligraphy is sheer life experienced through energy in motion that is registered as traces on silk or paper, with time and rhythm in shifting space its main ingredients." Chinese characters can be retraced to 4000 BC signs.


wán quán wù lǐ (completed physics)


ZHANG PEILI Zhang Peili (张培力 born in 1957 in Hangzhou). Zhang Peili earned his reputation as the father of video art in China for his response to an invitation to create a new work for the historic Huangshan Conference on modern art in 1988. He borrowed video equipment – which was, at the time, hard to come by – from friends at the customs bureau and used it to film his latex-gloved hands breaking a mirror and then meticulously gluing the shards back into place. As a symbol, the glove is useful in understanding this: in the beginning of his career, he obsessed over it, painting empty gloves dissected by numbered lines again and again. To Zhang, the glove symbolizes institutional pressure, an unnatural surgical barrier of control and containment. And at their best, his works achieve the exact opposite effect, widening narrow discourses, as in his groundbreaking first explorations in video, and works He is beginning with the cool and contained painting of the mid-1990s and then moving into the aesthetics of boredom and control in his first video projects. Zhang Peili is an enigmatic figure: while he is widely respected in China as a pioneering video artist and a progenitor of the use of electronic media in the wake of the 85 New Wave movement of the mid-1980s, his international reputation relies primarily on a small number of survey exhibitions. In 2011 one of his early paintings was auctioned for a shocking HK$23 million during the controversial Sotheby’s sale of a portion of the Ullens Collection in Hong Kong. 53

Typically adopting a minimal or reductive position that constructs an essential relationship between the aesthetics of video playback technology and the moving image itself, his video installation focuses on questions of perceived reality, media convention, individual agency, and spatial structure. In the years between 1988 and 2011 his video practice has undergone a number of significant shifts, beginning with the cool and contained painting of the mid1980s and then moving into the aesthetics of boredom and control in his first video projects, including Document on Hygiene No. 3 (1991), in which the artist subdues and washes a chicken at the center of the frame. The mid-1990s saw classical reworking of the relationship between content and spatial form, as with Uncertain Pleasure II (1996), in which a hand scratches every corner of a naked body depicted only in fragmentary close-up shots across 10 channels, or Water: Standard Edition of Cihai (1991), for which a television announcer reads a dictionary entry as if it were the evening news. And then there are the appropriation and remix works, including not only Last Words but also Actors’ Lines, in which the gestures of revolutionary fervor depicted in a militaristic propaganda film are reframed to read almost romantically. Finally, more recent works involve interactive closed-loop systems like Hard Evidence No. 1 (2009) and theatrical scenes like A Gust of Wind (2008 and 2012). The recognition of Zhang Peili is less than their counterparts likely due to use of video and installations in their work. Probably that’s why their work is one of the most abstract of all the collection and maybe the answer is in his own words by an interview: “What I felt during the early stages of my development as an artist was that there is a kind of underlying force or power. Sudden changes or disasters, which have been caused either by nature or human beings, made me realize that people live in an illusion, and this feeling has become stronger as my career as an artist has developed. All these beautiful and supposedly stable states are so fragile. They are just illusions. Changeable and destructive states are inevitable. THEY are the realities”.



WANG GUANGYI and ZHANG PEILI What can we expect from two artists like them? Introduce the use of hands. Not ask to me, ask them!!!



ZHANG XIAOGANG and WU SHANZHUAN A tribute to Qi Baishi. Qi Baishi (齐白石; was born in January 1, 1864 in Xiangtang, Hunan – Beijing, September 16, 1957). He is perhaps the most noted for the whimsical, often playful style of his watercolor works. The subjects of his paintings include almost everything, commonly animals, scenery, figures, toys, vegetables, and so on. He theorized that "paintings must be something between likeness and unlikeness, much like today's vulgarians, but not like to cheat popular people". In his later years, many of his works depict mice, shrimp, or birds. He was also good at seal carving and called himself "the fortune of three hundred stone seals". In 1953 he was elected to the president of the Association of Chinese Artists. One of his paintings, Eagle Standing on Pine Tree was sold for 425.5 million yuan ($65.5 million) in 2011, becoming one of the most expensive paintings ever sold at auction. According to Artprice index the firsts four artists by amount in auctions 2011 are: Zhang Daqian, Qi Baishi, Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso. I’m unable to close this collection for better.



Lu Peng biography Lu Peng is Associate Professor in the Department of Art History and Theory at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. Born in 1956 in Chongqing, Sichuan province, and has been living in Chengdu since 1964. Prof. Lu is 1982 graduate of the Political Education Department of Sichuan Normal University, and holds a PhD in critical theory from the China Art Academy. In 2004 he was awarded his doctorate, and is presently a professor at the China Academy of Art.

Formerly chief editor of the journal Theatre and Film (Xiju yu dianying) from 1982-85, Lu Peng also served as Vice-secretary of the Sichuan Dramatists Society from 1986-91. Subsequently he held the position of executive editor at the magazine Yishu shichang (Art and Market), and in 1992 served as artistic director of the ground-breaking Guangzhou Biennale (officially titled the First Guangzhou Biennial Art Fair [Oil Painting Section] and among first major initiatives).

His major published books include: Modern European Aesthetics of Painting, (Lingnan fine art press 1988); Modern Painting: New Imaginery Language, (Shandong literature and art press 1987); Escaping the Responsibility: 20th Century Art Culture, 1990 (co-authored with Yi Dan Fine arts press 1990); Art- Revelation of Man, (Lingnan fine art press 1990); Critique of Modern Art and Culture, (with Yi Dan, Sichuan fine art press 1992); History of China modern art:1979-1989 (Hunan fine art press 1992); Operation of Art, (Chengdu publishing house 1994); History of China modern art:1990-1999 (Hunan fine art press 2000); Lu Peng: A Chronology of Contemporary Chinese Art History 1976-2000 (eds. Paris – Pekin 2002); Pure Views Remote from Streams and Mountains: Chinese Landscape Painting in the 10th-13th Century, (People’s University of China Press 2004); A History of Art in Twentieth-Century China, (Peking University Press 2006); The story of art in China (from late Qing Dynasty to present (Chinese Peking University press 2009); A pocket history of 20th Century Chinese art (Charta 2010 English version, Chinese version); Artists in Art History, (Hunan Fine art Press 2008); Fragmented reality, Contemporary art in 21st Century China (Charta 2012); A history of art in twentieth-century China, reviewed, (Charta 2010) more than 1.000 pages; Histoire de l’art chinois au XX siècle (French version Somogy 2013 and English update


Somogy 2013, 800 pages); China contemporary art in the historical process and market trends (Peking University Press, 2010); From San Servolo to Amalfi (Charta English and Chinese 2011).

His translations include: Hershel B.Chipp's Selected Letters of Paul Cezanne,(Sichuan fine art press 1986, 2nd edition Guangxi normal university press 2003. 3rd edition People’s university of China publishing house 2004); Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin, 1984; W. Kandinsky’s The Spirit in Art, (Sichuan fine art press 1986); and Kenneth Clark's Landscape into the Art, (Sichuan fine art press 1988).

His work as Curator Artist in Art History. SZ Art Center. 2008 He extended his activity as Curator and Organiser Responsible project of 7 Museums Greatest artists in Sichuan-Qingcheng Mountain. 2008. Gift to Marco Polo. Collateral event Biennale di Venezia. 2009 Exhibition "Reshaping History: China art 2000-2009". Beijing 2010. Biggest Exhibition ever in China. Pure Views-New painting from China. London Blouin art Foundation. 2010 Pure Views-New painting from China. San Francisco Asian Art Museum. 2011 1st Biennale Chengdu. 2011 Pure Views-New painting from China. Fukuoka Asian art museum. 2013 Pure Views-Transformations of Chinese art. Arts Santa Mònica. Barcelona. 2013. All techniques. Passage to history. Pavilion at Biennale di Venezia. 2013 In recent years he assumed the creation, organisation and Director of several new Contemporary art museums Creator and Director Chengdu MOCA since June 2011. First exhibition of Picasso in China. Creator and Director Yinchuan MOCA inaugurated beginning 2014

A point of view of this great historian can be viewed at:


Friendship’s Photobook

Amsterdam 2008 with Lu Peng

Venice 2009

Venice 2009 with Zhang Xiaogang and Zhou Chunya

Chengdu 2011

Venice 2009 with Wang Guangyi

Barcelona 2013


Barcelona 2013 Pure Views at Arts Santa Mònica: Zhang Wang, Zhang Xiaogang, Mao Xuhui, Yang Mian, Shen Na. In b&w also Ye Yongqing.


BIBLIOGRAPHY regarding INK vs OIL n=met+pubs#.UrGTpeLWvAM Fang Lijun


Take a virtual tour


Curiosities Tianhong Resort “Tianhong Resort is located in Yalong Bay National Resort, Sanya。 It is a boutique resort in which every room faces beach with full seaview window, surrounded by tropical trees, the lake and the mountain in the back。Many state leaders once stayed in our hotel such as Zu Rong Ji, Li Rui Huan, Wei Jian Xing, Wu Guan Zheng, Jia Qing Ling。 We also received many celebrities such as 11th Banchan Buddha Of Tibetan, world championship Fu Ming Xia, Li Ning, actor Jiang Kun。 The B building opened business on sep.1,2008. Every room is spacious wich occupies fifty square meters at least. You can watch both seaview and lakeview in the same time in the room。A building has been reconstructed before Oct.2008. Comfortable accommodation,characteristic cuisine and natural environment will bring you a surprised joy and unforgettable vacation。 You can still enjoy beach, swimming, then take a bath sauna and use the locker free of charge after check out if the flight is too late so that you can enjoy more happy time on the beach to avoid waiting much more time in the airport。There are multi-functional conference room and VIP salon。 The beach is only for the hotel’s guests and it’s privacy, on which there are wooden umbrellas and chairs.” From their website. As you can see, like almost all in China in 2008 was reconstructed and a new building was added!!! Nothing to do with what the artists found. It’s a coincidence? It was a sign? Old versus new? So many questions can araise...


Mount Nan Another popular attraction of Sanya is Mt. Nan (The South Mountain). Mt. Nan located in China’s the only tropical coastal city – Sanya, is the southernmost mountain in China. The facilities in Mt. Nan Cultural Tourism Resort are all wellequipped. The symbol of Nan Shan (Shan meaning “mountain” in Mandarin) is a 108 m (354 ft.) statue of Nanhai Guanyin. The figure was raised and enshrined in 2005 and is 2nd largest statue in the world. Under the blue sky, the statue seems more kind and holy. The story goes that the three-sided statue faces mainland China, Taiwan and the rest of the South China Sea, meaning that the bodhisattva blesses not only China, but the whole world. Actually, Nan Shan is a place to spread the Buddhism. Nan Shan is renowned as the auspicious place. A famous saying “福如东海,寿比南山(Pinyin: fú rú dōng hǎi shòu bǐ nán shān)” is just the words Chinese people would say when giving the old bless, which means that hoping the old can live a longer life. In this ancient Chinese phrase, in a way it points out the origin between Nan Shan and the longevity culture. Nanshan Temple (南山寺; Nánshānsì; literally "South mountain temple") is a Buddhist temple located in Sanya, Hainan province, People's Republic China. The temple's name originates from a popular Buddhist expression. (福如东海, 寿比南山; literally "Good fortune is much as the East Sea; longevity is high as Nanshan"). The temple was built on April 12, 1988 to commemorate two thousand years of Buddhism in China. It has a total area of 40,000 square metres. It contains several Tang dynasty replicas. 67

The Dharma-Door of Nonduality In Buddhism, a Dharma-Door is an entrance to the Dharma, a teaching about a way or method of practice leading to enlightenment. The heavenly existence in the Dharma Realm of Form is eighty-four thousand great kalpas long. Thus there are eighty-four thousand Dharma-doors. Among those, The Dharma-Door of Nonduality is considered as the last one at highest state. Only entering this door, may one attain enlightenment and get access to Nirvana, the realm surpassing life and death. Buddhist perspective shows that Nonduality, meaning “not this not that but this and that are interrelated”, “all lives born equal”, etc, is the method and notion for Buddhism to perceive the world and the interpretation and inference to relations between essentiality and superficies of all things in universe. In Vimalakirti Sutra, it says that the Crown Prince Manjushri asked the Licchavi Vimalakirti: “We have all given our own teachings, noble sir. Now, may you elucidate the teaching of the entrance into the principle of nonduality? ” Thereupon, the Licchavi Vimalakirti kept his silence, saying nothing at all. The Crown Prince Manjushri applauded the Licchavi Vimalakirti: "Excellent! Excellent, noble sir! This is indeed the entrance into the nonduality of the bodhisattvas. Here there is no use for syllables, sounds, and ideas." The expression is precise and implies deep Buddhist allegory. We need to practice vigorously the concentration of the mind on the point of Zen. Nanshan Dharma-Door of Nonduality is the entrance scenery of the park featuring architectural style of North-South Dynasty. Entering this gate means entering an auspicious and serene land of Buddhism. The Chinese characters “Nonduality” outside above the door and “Oneness” inside were inscribed by Mr. Gu Ting-Long, the late well-known calligrapher in his 94. “Oneness” is the homologue of “Nonduality”.

Tianya Haijiao and Yanoda rain forest Tianyahaijiao is famous for its name which literately means “The End of the Sky and The Corner of the Sea”, and is associated with endless love and romance. Almost every Chinese tourist in Sanya goes there to witness the beautiful scenery and romantic place.


Hainan Yanoda Rainforest is famous for the unique rainforest at 18 degrees north latitude of China. It embodies all the five famous rain forests in Hainan province, enjoying a high reputation in China. “Yanoda”,is an onomatopoeia for one, two, three in Hainan dialect. Here it has its new meaning when dividing it into three parts: “ya” means innovation; “no” represents promise; and “da” indicates practice. At the same time, “yanoda”,delivers the expression of welcome and greeting, referring to friendship and best wishes. Maybe the source of inspiration of Yue Minjun’s works? Who knows…

Xuan paper The formal paper used for Chinese calligraphy and painting is called Shuan Paper ( 宣紙 ). Shuan ( 宣 ) Zhou is the name of the original place that is most famous for its production. Shuan Paper is made of many different plant fibers other than rice. If Chinese paper and books were made of rice, they would have been eaten by insects thousands of years ago. In the nineteenth century when the Europeans wanted to get the trade secrets of Shuan Paper from China, they were misinformed it was made of rice. Hence, most people in the West have been calling it "rice paper" either as a misnomer or for convenience's sake. This widespread misnomer may cause the beginners or practitioners in forming a habit and inability to distinguish many other prevalent misnomers and misconceptions already widespread in learning Chinese Brush Arts (calligraphy, painting, and seal carving.)


Shuan Paper is suitable for the absorption of Chinese ink and colors and motions of Chinese writing and painting brushes. Its high quality feature makes it the best choice for formal Chinese calligraphy and painting artworks. Shuan Paper, if preserved properly, can last at least 1,000 years. Shuan Paper is the world famous paper noted for its resistance to aging and deterioration. The paper was first produced in Shuan Zhou, Anhui Province. Later Shuan Paper became the generic term used for various Chinese calligraphy and painting paper, even if the paper is produced outside Anhui Province. Shuan paper is soft and flexible and has just the right degree of absorbency for Chinese brush-and-ink calligraphy and painting, so the art and the material complement each other superbly to produce optimal results. The paper is available in different sizes, thicknesses, smoothness, and absorbency of water by being sized with different amounts of alum. Some kinds of Shuan Paper contain a basket-weave pattern that can become visible and form part of the texture with dry ink application.

Chinese ink brushes Though similar to the brush used for watercolor painting in the West, it has a finer tip suitable for dealing with a wide range of subjects and for producing the variations in line required by different styles. Since the materials used for calligraphy and painting are essentially the same, developments in calligraphic styles and techniques can also be used in painting. The ancients used the expression yu pi yu mo(to have brush, to have ink). These show the significance of the meaning for the two terms pi(brush) and mo(ink). The brush techniques so much emphasized in Chinese painting include not only line drawing but also the stylized expressions of shade and texture (cunfa) and the dotting methods(dianfa) used mainly to differentiate trees and plants and also for simple embellishment. The brush strokes give the painting rhythm and beauty and depict the subject's outward and inner qualities. At the same time, they reveal the individuality and style of the painter himself.


Chinese Ink Ink has been used in calligraphy and painting for over two thousand years. When the ink cake is ground on the painter's stone slab with fresh water, ink of various consistencies can be prepared depending on the amount of water used. Thick ink is very deep and glossy when applied to paper or silk. Thin ink appears lively and translucent. As a result, in ink-and-wash paintings it is possible to use ink alone to create a rhythmic balance between brightness and darkness, and density and lightness, and to create an impression of the subject's texture, weight and coloring.

The red seals Because the ink and wash painting prevails in Yuan dynasty, and it only has two colours -black and white- that seems a little bit toneless. Then the red seal emerge because of demand. The red seal not just the mark of ownership, it has become the essential constituent part of painting, playing a role of enlivening the painting. This was a major contribution made by scholar painters. Its significance lies in its ability to express the theme and artistic conception of the painting more clearly and deeply while, at the same time, giving great insight into the artist's individuality, emotions and views on art and life. In ink-and-wash paintings, the bright red seal adds a final touch of beauty. When preparing the inscription and seal, therefore, the Chinese painter, in addition to considering their content, has always given great thought to the placement, length and dimensions of the inscription and the position of the seal on the painting. 71

The simplest inscription consists of the artist's name and the date. Sometimes the inscription could include the occasion for the painting and the name of the person for whom the painting was done. It could be about the subject and style of the painting. Quite often the artist might include a piece of poetry or a literary allusion. These are all followed by the artist's own seal. The seals can be carved in stone. It can contain a name, poetical saying, a design or symbol which has a connection with the painting. The seals are pressed into a pot or tin of cinnebar paste, a scarlet red color, and are impressed onto the painting. The paste contains mercuric oxide, ground silk and oils. It required a careful stamp as it is rather permanent. When using red seal on a monochrome painting, it is said to be "adding the eye to the dragon". Seal can be painter's, or appreciator's, or collector's. In this case Lu Peng’s seal is visible.


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Edition finished March 2014



The sanya collection  
The sanya collection  

New version of this Ink Contemporary collection by greatest artists like Zhang Xiaogang, Zeng Fanzhi, Zhou Chunya, Wang Guangyi, Yue Minjun,...