Lalan - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale Hong Kong Tuesday, June 21, 2022 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • “A painter of our era, but with oriental influence, and of Chinese inspiration: I remain both Chinese and contemporary.”
    — Lalan


    A pioneer of Chinese avant-garde, Xie Jinglan, known as Lalan, had a unique practice that fused painting and calligraphy with music and performance. Lalan excelled in the various disciplines that comprised her oeuvre, creating fluid and melodious pieces that were characteristic of l'art synthèse— the integrated art movement. Amongst the prolific Chinese artists working in Paris during the second half of the twentieth century, alongside legendary painters such as her first husband Zao Wou-Ki, Lalan refused to confine herself to a single genre or style. Instead, she transcended cultural boundaries, fabricating a controlled yet dynamic marriage of Eastern and Western influences. The artist’s refined technique was an eclectic blend of ancient Chinese heritage and the buzzing Parisian art scene that she was a part of. Never ceasing her vibrant artistic practice until her untimely death in 1995, she left behind a legacy brimming with intuition and creativity. Her repertoire is a celebration of life; a constant reminder to embrace freedom and self-expression.


    The present group of works are emblematic of Lalan’s oeuvre, fully demonstrating her transcendent artistic vision and matured compositional mastery. Created with watercolour and pencil, the group of works are stunningly abstract, their meticulous patterns akin to the fine details on a marble slab, or the nebulous haze of a brewing storm. Her gestural, calligraphic strokes manoeuvre elegantly across the canvas in expertly choreographed movements, exemplifying the artist’s profound connection with dance and music.


    Installation view of Extended Figures: The Art and Inspiration of Lalan, Asia Society Hong Kong Centre, Hong Kong, 27 April - 19 September 2021

    One of the most celebrated names in Chinese modern art, Lalan’s work found international acclaim during her illustrious career and continues to do so today, widely praised for going against the trends of her time to develop an independent practice that she truly believed in. In 1975, she was awarded the Chevalier medal for the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) by the French Ministry of Culture. Today, Lalan’s works can be found in the collections of prominent institutions, including that of the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Culture Ministry of France, and the Shanghai Art Museum, among others. Since her passing, her oeuvre has been honoured with numerous retrospectives, the most recent being Extended Figure: the Art and Inspiration of Lalan (2021), hosted by the Asia Society Hong Kong Centre in celebration of the artist’s centennial.




    • Provenance

      Private Collection, France (acquired directly from the artist)
      Thence by descent to the present owner



signed and dated ‘Lalan 89’ lower right
pencil, gouache and ink on paper
49.5 x 64.5 cm. (19 1/2 x 25 3/8 in.)
Executed in 1989, the authenticity of this work has been confirmed by the Lalan Archive from whom a certificate of authenticity can be issued. This work will be included in the Lalan Online Archive.

Full Cataloguing

HK$250,000 - 350,000 

Sold for HK$226,800

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+852 2318 2027

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 21 June 2022