Zao Wou-Ki | 2020 Spring Auction Hong Kong Details of the Best Works

The first auction week in Hong Kong in 2020 is about to lift the hammer, during which Zao Wou-Ki’s works will been seen in almost every auction house. Zao Wou-Ki’s works have received eye-catching results at auctions in recent years, especially works of Hurricane Period(1959-1972) in 1960s which are welcomed the most by collectors. These works dissolve the characters and dilute the painting oil and ink in order to achieve the balance between the dynamic and static, as well as the false and true. So the paintings are more bold and unrestrained. Let’s take a look at these paintings to be auctioned!


The painting style of 19.11.59 has gradually broken away from the rules of Oracle Bone Period that composing abstract structures with characters and symbols. Instead, it completely dissolves the characters. This symbolizes the starting point of the Hurricane Period. The picture is dominated by bright blue, while the upper and lower parts are as deep as ink, and the middle part is permeated with lead-white halo, which seems as if it is ready to shoot out from both sides. The momentum of riding the wind and waves is the portrayal of the artist’s spiritual feelings of persistence and poising power.


20.03.60 was created in 1960, when Zao Wou-Kiwas going through a divorcing grief, and went back to Paris after his journey around the world. While travelling, he not only got inspiration from American post-war abstract expressionism, but met his second wife as well. The collision of new art form and hot love became his promising creative power. This picture reinterprets the Chinese traditional landscape artistic conception, with outstanding mountains in middle area and misty mountains in distance. An exploration of space composing between false or true has opened up a new aesthetic perspective.


Painted in 1963, 21.10.63 is a work in Hurricane Period, during whichZao Wou-Kiwas in his prime, and his creative power was so strong that he "fought with the picture" and challenged the large canvas of his painting every day. This picture is 2 meters high, and the auction house introduces that it is the largest work in red by Zao Wou-Kiat the same time. The work is to be auctioned for the first time ever.


For Zao Wou-Ki, 22.6.63 represents the farewell to Oracle Bone Period. The sparse and bright black and brown lines full of rhythm are in great contrast with the marvelous red spots in the center of the picture. Among works in Hurricane Period, around 100 rectangular large canvas paintings (larger than the French standard scale of 80) have appeared in the auction market, and all of them were structured with a “central axis”.


18.11.66 is also making its debut to hit the auction block this time, with an astonishing horizontal composition and a delicate balance between light and dark. Subtle white strikes overlapping on the wild dark strokes remind us of the natural force of the strong wind and waves. This work well defines 10-year brilliance of Zao Wu-ki’s art career with full enthusiasm and vigor, and manifests the essence of his art incisively.

More Lots to be auctioned

Sotheby's Hong Kong

Modern Art Evening Sale
8 Jul 2020, 19:00
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre 1 Expo Drive, Wanchai Hong Kong

Christie's Hong Kong

Modern And Contemporary Art Evening Sale
10 Jul 2020, 18:30
18 Chater Road 22nd floor Alexandra House The James Christie Room, 22nd Floor Hong Kong

Phillips Hong Kong

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale
8 Jul 2020, 16:30
JW Marriott Hotel One Pacific Place 88 Queensway Hong Kong
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20 Sat 2020, 11:00