Hsiao Chin - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in Association with Poly Auction Hong Kong Thursday, December 3, 2020 | Phillips

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  • “My paintings reflect my vision of life, which has no beginning or end and never stops.” — Hsiao Chin

    Hsiao Chin’s vision sets him apart in the story of abstraction. Exposed to the work of Western artists like Paul Cézanne and Henri Matisse from a young age, Hsiao lived and travelled throughout Europe and the United States, where he met many prominent artists, including Paul Klee, Mark Rothko, Yves Klein, and Lucio Fontana.  His bold, minimalist compositions diverged dramatically in style from the Abstract Expressionists - particularly action painters such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning - whose methods he described as ‘more actions than thoughts’. Seeking something different, more meditative, his style drew on the brushwork of Chinese calligraphy and the philosophy of Laozi and Zhuangzi, whilst the introduction of vivid colour, as showcased in Flying Dragon, followed his discovery of Tibetan Buddhist art.



    Flying Dragon comes from the personal collection of the pioneering avant-garde filmmaker Cecile Shu Shuen Tang. The first internationally recognised, award-winning independent filmmaker in Hong Kong (and the first female director of note in the industry), her work influenced the Hong Kong New Wave generation of ground-breaking young filmmakers such as Wong Kar-Wai who emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s. An admirer of Hsiao Chin’s work, Tang acquired Flying Dragon at the artist’s solo exhibition in Hong Kong in 1986, where she was told by the artist that it was in fact his favourite work at the show:


    When I was introduced to Hsiao’s works back in the ‘80s, I found they speak to us like a Rothko, a Kline, and yet [it was] unmistakably Chinese, which I found was not common among most contemporary Chinese artists of that era.  In Hsiao’s work ‘chi’ (氣) dominates the spirit of his canvas and the brushstroke’s tracks are as significant as the composition.  But the Flying Dragon is unique, his free flow style turns disciplined across a balanced space, with dexterity the brush lusciously blends one color to another, and another, [it] pronounces his constant theme ‘change’(易) -  in action.  I thought that is fascinating.” - Cecile Shu Shuen Tang


    Phillips is honoured to present Flying Dragon at auction, the culmination of the meeting between two diverse yet exceptional individuals and histories.

    • Provenance

      Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      Hong Kong Institute for Promotion of Chinese Culture, Hsiao Chin: A Neo-Taoist Approach to Painting, 1 - 27 April 1985

Property from the Cecile Tang Shu Shuen Collection


Flying Dragon

titled '"Flying Dragon [in Chinese]"' lower left; further signed, dated and stamped with the artist's seal 'Hsiao [in Pinyin] Chin 1983 [in Chinese]' lower right
ink on cloth
133 x 232 cm. (52 3/8 x 91 3/8 in.)
Painted in 1983.

Full Cataloguing

HK$400,000 - 600,000 

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Associate Specialist, Head of Day Sale

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in Association with Poly Auction

Hong Kong Auction 4 December 2020