Encouraged by his new sponsor, Sanyu is experimenting the possibilities of artistic expression of the oil painting, which will open his eyes beyond his favorite theme of the drawings of women for fashion and in the nude.
Sanyu becomes a painter of flowers, but with a great originality in which some try to see the influence of Chinese art. The theme of his research is not only the flowers but especially the white pitcher in which they are arranged. This stylized vase disappearing before a white background or in total contrast to a black background opens a new artistic language based on the opposition of simple shapes.
The oil on canvas 73 x 50 cm for sale by Poly Auction in Hong Kong on October 5, lot 133, is dated from that first experimental year. It is highlighted in the press release announcing all the sessions of the auction.
This white pot is placed on a white surface in front of a black background. It contains some roses as flowers or buds, painted in pink. The stems and the skeletons leaves painted close to white add to the illusion that this work without perspective effect and without texture detail could almost be a radiograph.
The artist continues his creative exploration. An oil on canvas painted in 1930 in a similar size shows a colored vase but the vanishing contrasts affect the plant against its black background. This painting that had belonged to Roché was sold for € 4.1 million including premium by Aguttes on June 2, 2015.
In 1931, the white vase against a white background becomes almost invisible. It is still present but does not attract any more the attention of the viewer. The flower becomes logically the focus of the picture. A composition with two pink hydrangeas was sold by Aguttes in the same sale as above and at the same price.
Soon after, the quarrel between Sanyu and Roché marks the end of this first period of great creativity of the artist.