San Yu | 2020 Spring Auction Hong Kong Details of the Best Works

Affected by COVID-19, Hong Kong's art scene saw a strong recovery after offline auctions were suspended for several months. The top auction houses are gathering the masterpieces and will release several heavyweight lots. In recent years, San Yu, a Chinese artist from France, has been creating an endless high price in the auction market. In 2019, he broke his personal auction record twice with nude women's paintings, undoubtedly becoming one of the most eye-catching star artists in the Hong Kong market this season. Next, please follow ArtPro to focus on San Yu’s upcoming highlights in Hong Kong.

Nude Women: Quatre Nus

Quatre Nus, with a length and width of more than one meter respectively, is from San Yu's late years when he has made a significant breakthrough in his creation. It will be presented on July 8 at the "Modern Art Evening Sale" in Sotheby's Hong Kong. According to the Complete Works of San Yu’s Oil Painting, there are only six group portraits of three or more nude women in San Yu's works. The composition of this work is diagonal and the process of creation is rigorous. The nude women in the picture are graceful, different and comfortable. Green is a symbol of the color of life. The rich green background is just like the green grass in summer, sending out the breath of vitality. It was on auction at Sotheby's in 1994 and Christie's in 2005.

The Grand Structure of White Chrysanthemum with Red Background: Chrysanthèmes Blanches Dans Un Pot Bleu Et Blanc (White Chrysanthemum In A Blue And White Jardiniere)

With a height of over one meter, Chrysanthèmes Blanches Dans Un Pot Bleu Et Blanc (White Chrysanthemum In A Blue And White Jardiniere) is one of San Yu’s largest works, which will be presented on July 10 at Christie's "Modern And Contemporary Art Evening Sale". This is the work of San Yu in his later years. It belongs to the flower series of "blue and white pot with red background," which are few among San Yu’s works. Chrysanthemum is the most popular and repeated flower theme of San Yu. The background of bright red and bright yellow is rich. It was once collected by famous collectors one by one from all over the world. According to San Yu's collection of paintings, there are only four known paintings of chrysanthemums with a height of more than one meter and a red background, two of which are permanently collected by the Taiwan History Museum. This artwork was first auctioned in 2005 at Christie's, and now reappears after 15 years.

Animal Oil Painting: Rooster and Serpent

San Yu’s animal themes are unique and artistic conception outshine others, which is the authentic portrayal of San Yu’s heart. In Rooster And Serpent, the eastern and Western blending strokes are remarkable, and the color is lovely and straightforward. In the painting, the rooster and the snake fight with each other, which is full of interest. This work has a very similar theme with the great work Fighting, collected by the National History Museum of Taiwan. It may have been created successively in the same period, and it is a rare work with the theme of San Yu’s animals. The father of the present collector is a famous photographer and has a precious friendship with San Yu.

Mirror Painting Femme Nue Étendue and Panier De Poires: the First Auction Presence in nearly 90 Years

San Yu used to create mirror oil paintings from the late 1920s to the 1930s. There are only a few works, including Femme Nue Étendue. The nude woman lying in the painting is pink, soft and gentle; the pink background presents a romantic and sweet atmosphere. This work is a typical example of San Yu’s early nude women's oil painting with clear source. It was originally collected by Henri-Pierre Roché, a close friend and agent of San Yu in his early years, and recorded on his collection list. Later, it was purchased and collected by another important collector, Jean-Claude Riedel, a Paris painting dealer, in the 1960s, and then entered the family of current collectors in the 1980s.

In addition to nude women, bonsai and animals, San Yu also created a series of still life paintings. Panier De Poires is also a mirror oil painting with the infinite creativity of San Yu, which is very rare. The picture adopts pure white background, simple color, presenting a fresh and elegant feeling; a few geometric outlines reveal the artist's skill in painting. The unusual medium matches the yellow color jumping into the picture, which conveys a different charm. This work, together with the Femme Nue Étendue, was successfully purchased and collected by Henri-Pierre Roché and the painter Jean-Claude Riedel. Then, it was included in the bag by the current collector.

Animal Oil Painting: Leopard

Leopard, drawn in the 1940s, is composed of red, yellow and black. The picture is magnificent. The description of lines and points follows nature, showing the Oriental freehand brushwork. The animals in San Yu’s works are full of emotion, showing the characteristics of frankness and aloofness. The lying leopard does not have the ferocious state of the beast but focuses somewhere out of the picture languidly and lazily, which is worth appreciating.

More Upcoming Lots:

For more details of the lots, please check the following auctions:


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


Christie's Hong Kong

Modern And Contemporary Art Day Sale
11 Jul 2020, 14:00
18 Chater Road 22nd floor Alexandra House The James Christie Room, 22nd Floor Hong Kong


Sotheby's Hong Kong

Modern Art Day Sale
9 Jul 2020, 14:30
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre 1 Expo Drive, Wanchai Hong Kong


Ravenel Taipei

Modern & Contemporary Asian Art
19 Jul 2020, 14:30
Marriott Hotel 199 Lequn 2nd Road Zhongshan District Taipei


Poly Auction Hong Kong

Modern And Contemporary Art
12 Jul 2020, 15:00


Phillips Hong Kong

20th Century & Contemporary Art And Design Day Sale
9 Jul 2020, 13:00
JW Marriott Hotel One Pacific Place 88 Queensway Hong Kong
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