Wu was watching the earth as an environment for the lifestyle, from wide landscapes around the world up to tiny details in the blossoming trees. He successfully practiced oil painting and returned to the traditional ink when he wanted to position spots of pure colors.
1997 is a year of great creativity. Freed of threats at 78, he continues to explore many possibilities of the artistic language. The Zhou Village, sold for HK $ 236M including premium by Poly in April 2016, is an oil on canvas, the highest recorded auction price for a Chinese painting in that technique.
Wu also resolutely entered contemporary art through his practice of very large formats. I had previously discussed in this column an ink and colors on paper 144 x 368 cm also from 1997 that remained unsold at Poly in Beijing on 2 June 2012. Although I can not firmly prove it, I am convinced that it is the same artwork that is coming for sale by Poly in Hong Kong on October 3, lot 139.
The theme of the lotus pond is an excuse for a color balance that comes close to abstraction. The field is unlimited as in a Pollock. The bright spots compensate for the lack of perspective by suggesting the depth of the bottom. The leaves and their reflections are interwoven in a tight pattern.
SOLD for HK$ 106M including premium