Calligraphy is a visual art with its five shades of ink. Like Western graphology it reveals the behavior and energy of the writer. The emperors used huge autograph characters to convey to the court their moral precepts as the Sons of Heaven.
At first Zao's message is primarily visual. When he incorporates lines in his abstract theme of natural forces, they do not constitute words. The synthesis will come later : in 1957 he integrates into his works some paleo-writing elements from the oracle bones.
Zao is attentive to anything that can exacerbate his exceptional energy. His visits to New York teach him to leave freedom to the movement of the hand, which does not exclude a repetition of the gesture to achieve an unlimited entanglement of colors. He also cancels any reluctance to monumentality despite the material difficulties for its implementation, as Rothko had done ten years earlier.
His abstract landscapes become gorgeous. 09.01.63 was sold for HK $ 76M including premium by Sotheby's on September 30, 2017. 29.09.64 was sold for HK $ 153M including premium by Christie's on May 27, 2017.
Painted in the mean time, 29.01.64, oil on canvas 260 x 200 cm, retrieves altogether the vertical format and the memory of the imperial calligraphy. A kaleidoscopic landscape is masked by a gigantic sign with complex lines in which Chinese readers globally recognize the character meaning love or longevity. Westerners may instead see a big tree in the storm.
29.01.64 is estimated HK $ 85M for sale by Christie's in Hong Kong on November 25, lot 24. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
SOLD for HK$ 203M including premium