Ju Ming - Contemporary Art Day Sale London Monday, February 10, 2014 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection, Singapore

  • Catalogue Essay

    Ju Ming’s artistic practice epitomizes the birth of contemporary art in Taiwan, while preserving the spirit of a long and rich cultural tradition. In particular, he reveals sculpture’s ability to express and deal with issues of everyday life. His sculptures explore the intimate relationship between art, culture and space and the protagonist of this exploration is the human figure reconfigured with a new vocabulary and conception. By putting aside iconic figures within history or religion, Ju Ming celebrates the everyday man as the new hero of modern society. The present lot, Single Whip, is a brilliant re-visitation of one of his most famous ‘types’ of the Tai Chi Series, first exhibited in 1977 at the Tokyo Central Art Museum with great success gaining enthusiastic reception from the art world. Practicing himself daily and with devotion, the artist found a fertile soil within Tai Chi philosophy for the conceptualization and creation of his new heroic figure. The latter faces the harsh forces of everyday reality by meeting it with softness, thus generating the fusion of yin and yang. Ming is playing with this traditional and spiritual dichotomy by intertwining agility and massiveness, dynamism and solidity, smooth surfaces and solid forms, realism and abstraction. The ‘hard’ material of the stone is symbolically chosen in order to convey the hero’s strength, thus contrasting the traditional extremely fragile artifacts of Chinese and Taiwanese artistic culture. At the same time, the precision of its execution informs of Ming’s formation and expertise as a craftsman and blacksmith. The figure is bent low on the ground, its imposing right arm lowered down while his left arm and right leg are stretched out ready for action. Its imposing appearance and yielding pose confer to the space a positive sense of excited tension and an anticipation for a soon to come battle with everyday life. The lack of an individualized nature of the hero enables the viewer to identify with the artwork and take spiritual inspiration for his personal battle with life.


Taichi Series - Single Whip

25.7 x 40.5 x 20 cm. (10 1/8 x 15 7/8 x 7 7/8 in.)
Incised ‘97 9/9 Ju Ming’ in Taiwanese on the underside. This work is number 9 from an edition of 9 and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

£60,000 - 80,000 

Contact Specialist
Henry Highley
Head of Sale
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+ 44 20 7318 4061

Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Day Sale 11 February 2014 2pm