Sotheby's /Oct 3, 2011
€26,461.12 - €35,911.53
Artworks in Arcadja14
Some works of Guo BochuanExtracted between 14 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Auction: Sotheby's -Oct 4, 2010 - Hong-kongLot number: 254
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LOT 254 GUO BOCHUAN 1901-1974 NUDE 600,000—700,000 HKD 17 by 35.7 cm.; 6 3/4 by 14 in. Signed in Chinese and dated 54 (Minguo calendar) (upperleft)Executed in 1965 Oil on paper PROVENANCE Private Asian Collection CATALOGUE NOTE Guo Bochuan is one of the most important artists in the historyof modern art in Taiwan. In 1928, he entered the Western PaintingDepartment at the Tokyo Academy of Fine Art and studied under OkadaSaburosuke. The steady and rigorous training in life drawing thatGuo received whilst studying in Japan built a solid foundation forhis later artistic creation. While experimenting withExpressionism, Gu Bochuan mainly used impressionistic techniques inhis early work. In 1937, he went to Beiping and taught Westernpainting at the China Academy of Fine Arts and the Western PaintingDepartment of the Beiping Art School. During his 12-years' sojournin Beiping, his art underwent critical changes. The cityscape andlandscape of the ancient capital of Beiping enticed him to walkaround outside his studio. Inspired by the rich color palette oflocal temples and folk graphics, he no longer limited himself todull coffee and khaki colours; instead he added livelier colourtones such as red, green and azure into his work. Whilst inBeiping, Guo also became acquainted with the ink-painting masterHuang Binghong. Inspired by all these different cultures, hestarted to think about how to infuse traditional Chinese cultureinto Western painting styles. Guo realized that after hundreds ofyears, the condition of ink on paper paintings was much better thanthat of oil on canvas works. Therefore, from 1943 onwards, Guopainted oil paintings on rice paper and created a series ofwonderful works on paper of nudes, landscapes and still lives.He committed himself to this artistic practice for 30 years andcreated an expressive vocabulary that was uniquely his. From theworks in this sale, the importance of these works on paper in hisoeuvre is clear. In 1947, Guo Bochuan returned to Taiwan from Beiping. His arthad reached a stage of maturity and perfection. He had mastered thetechnique of painting with oil colors on rice paper, as seen in thevivid colors and skilled brushwork of his 1965 work Nude .Within the azure and Prussian blue background, Guo has used hisclassic vermilion lines to depict a reclining female nude and thenfilled in the structure and volume of the human body with red, pinkand skin-colour tones. The posture of the female nude correspondswith the dynamics of the composition and the texture of the canvasand shows a natural beauty. Guo Bochuan was born in Tainan. When middle-aged he returned toTainan, and often used the local attractions as the theme for hisworks. Works created in this period are full of his love for thelocal culture. Confucian Temple, Tainan is representative ofthis theme. The logical and orderly architectural structure oftemples in Taiwan and their unique colouring of vermilion and blueare clearly shown in this work. The children cycling and playingwithin the temple grounds reminds the viewer of the sunny,leisurely afternoons of childhood. Guo Bochuan's work is fresh andnatural. His depiction of landscapes and objects is neitherrealistic nor based on rules of perspective. Instead, after carefulpersonal observation, he transmits his emotions into the work andtherefore creates a world full of lively imagery on the paper.  "Refined and Beautiful Emotions—On Kuo Po-chuan's Life andArt" by Huang Cailang. In Taiwan Art Collection 10: KuoPo-chuan , Artists Publishing House, Taipei, 1993, pp.23-4.
Auction: Christie's -May 24, 2008 - Hong-kongLot number: 205
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GUO PO CHUAN (GUO BOCHUAN, 1901-1974) The Forbidden City signed and dated 'Po; Kuo Po Chuan; 1939; 12' in Chinese (lowerleft & on reverse) oil on canvas 66 x 55.8 cm. (26 x 22 in.) Painted in 1939 Provenance Private Collection, Asia Literature Yeh's Chin-Yi Culture Foundation, Kuo Po Chuan , Taipei,Taiwan, 1980, p. 19. (illustrated) Artist Publishing Co., Taiwan Fine Arts Series 10: Kuo PoChuan , Taipei, Taiwan, 1992, plate 10. Hsiung-Shih Art Book, The Home-Museum: Collected Paintings ofthe Older Generation of Artists: The Elegance and Uniqueness of KuoPo CHuan , Taipei, Taiwan, 1997, plate 4-15. Exhibited Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Retrospective Exhibition of Painting Development Taiwan ,April, 1994. Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan, Oil Painting in EastAsia: Its Awakening and Development , 3 June - 27 August,2000. Japan, Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art, Oil Painting in EastAsia: Its Awakening and Development , 2000. Lot Notes The modernist movement and the oil painting movement were thecentral trends that characterized artistic development in thegreater China region during the 20th century. They provided artistswith concrete means of expressing their sense of both external andinternal realities, allowing them to produce a body of creativework through which they reflected their specific environments andvoiced their personal experiences and outlooks. Thus, beyond thebeauty embodied in their work, they also conveyed a sense of theliving, breathing pulse of their times and the prevailing currentsof thought of the day. Taiwan, with its southerly location off China's coast, is closelytied to China both geographically and in terms of the kinship tiesbetween its peoples. Artistically, perhaps the greatest differencebetween the two regions has been the ability of Taiwanese artiststo more completely escape the restrictive influences of traditionin Chinese culture, enabling them to examine broad issues of self,nation, and ethnicity from a perspective of greater diversity andcultural detachment. One modern artist who embodied these featureswas Guo Bochuan, who was born in Taiwan on July 21, 1901, to afamily that traced its roots to Jinjiang County in the nearbycoastal province of Fujian Guo Bochuan employed his distinctive painting style in the serviceof works that embody his response to the culture and environment ofhis era. Purely in terms of his stance as a painter, his personalthoughts and feelings were sublimated on canvas throughcompositional structures that perfectly united the rationalelements of painting with a mastery of the more subjective,expressive elements in the shaping of their forms and colors. The May 4th movement that began in 1919 led to intenseself-reflection and self-criticism on the part of cultural andartistic figures in China, and by the 1930s, artists in Taiwan werefilled with a fervent idealism for modern art. Guo Bochuan leftTaiwan at the end of 1934, traveling first to Japan and then, in1937, to China, where he toured and sketched its northeasternregions for a year before arriving in 1938 in Beijing, then knownas Beiping. At the suggestion of his music teacher at a normalcollege, he took up teaching positions at National Beiping NormalUniversity and National Beiping Academy of Art, and later, at thestrenuous urging of Qiu Shiming, president of the Jinghua Academyof the Arts, he became dean of the western painting departmentthere as well as dean of disciplinary affairs. Guo thus developeddeep connections with Beijing, the city where, from 1937 until hisreturn to Taiwan in 1949, he spent a full twelve years during theprime of his life, and his stay in the mainland brought himpersonal experience of social turbulence and the spreading ravagesof war in a way few other Taiwanese artists of his time couldunderstand. These experiences engendered sharp realizations aboutsociety and the world that would be transformed and given artisticexpression in his canvases. 1939: The Imperial Palace Among the trove of historical materials relating to the life of GuoBochuan, the memoirs published in 1980 by his wife, Zhu Wanhua("Bochuan and I"), are notable for their mention of his staunchdefense of Chinese identity-his own and his nation's. That defensetook the form of adherence to three rules: he would not teach inJapanese, accept Japanese rations, or paint propaganda paintings.They were his three principles of nationalism, a kind ofdeclaration on which he refused to bend or waver during his 12years in Beijing. Guo's adherence to principle also foundexpression in the majority of his paintings, in his habit of usingsignatures resembling traditional Chinese seals and in dating hisworks in the Republic of China calendar (where year one is 1911,the year of the founding of the Republic). These testify to theartist's character and his artistic orientation, his calm strengthduring an era of great upheaval and the manner in which he upheldrespect for his ethnic identity. Guo Bochuan the artist focused oncreative work, but in another role, was an enthusiastic promoterand educator; under the aegis of the New Association of the Artsorganized in Beijing in 1941, he held solo exhibitions each year tofurther the growth and appreciation of modern art in China. The architecture of the ancient capital of Beijing, as theembodiment of age-old traditions central to Chinese culture, had agrandeur and majesty that Guo Bochuan found impressive andinspiring. Guo's first oil depiction of the Imperial Palace, from1939, is a rigorously structured composition that testifies to theartist's belief in Beijing as the world's most beautiful city inthat era. During his stay in Beijing, Guo developed a close friendship withone of the masters of traditional Chinese painting, Huang Binhong,and was inevitably influenced by the traditional styles and symbolsthat gave those traditional landscapes their poignantexpressiveness. In addition, the city itself provided eye-openingpanoramas of imperial majesty beneath clear skies and rollingclouds and brilliantly colored glazed-tile roofs and densegreenery, all of which were a never-ending source of inspirationfor the artist. Guo Bochuan accompanied Japanese artist Umehara Ryuzaburo duringthe latter's first visit to Beijing; together the two visitednumerous points of interest, enjoying their historical architectureor local color. Acquaintance with this artist seems to have urgedGuo toward both greater coloristic awareness and more boldlyexpressive brushwork. As both artists left us oils that embodytheir admiration for the Imperial Palace and deeply feltimpressions of it, it is possible to make some stylisticcomparisons. In his 1940 Forbidden City (Fig. 1), UmeharaRyuzaburo's high vantage point presents a view that angles acrossthe city from a distance and reveals only a small corner of thepalace grounds. This is partly due to the vantage point of theartist, from his temporary residence at the Beijing Grand Hotel,looking from a balcony across the Avenue of Eternal Peace and theForbidden City. But the view was also deliberately chosen toemphasize the sky rather than having the Imperial City as its mainfocus; it highlights the painter's skill at projecting the naturalfeatures of the scene and his fine handling of color and brushwork.Guo Bochuan selects a different viewpoint in his own 1939 ImperialPalace, one revealing close observation of a scene that wasobviously much loved by the artist. The palace is presented fromabove in a resplendent tapestry of color that encompasses a broad,spacious view of the palace environs; cool and warm tones play offagainst each other in thin, transparent layers of pigment thatbuild and overlap to create a richly layered, three-dimensionaleffect. This work, one of a number in which Guo depicted theImperial Palace, is the finest in the series in terms of hishandling of light and its effects within the scene. Judging fromthe angle of light and the layering of tones within the painting,it is likely Guo was facing the Imperial City under nearly the fulllight of noon, the sunlight falling directly from above and castingbright reflections from the buildings while throwing other areasinto deep shadow. Similar treatments of lighting effects are rarelyseen in oils; the resulting visual effect gives the Imperial Palacean exceptionally vivid and lifelike presence on the canvas, whileat another level, the work communicates the respect and venerationfor the Imperial Palace scene that Guo Bochuan, as an artistconcerned with his Chinese identity, felt so deeply. Another important stylistic development that occurred during GuoBochuan's Beijing period grew from his decision to employtraditional eastern color schemes in the oil medium. In ImperialPalace, vermilion reds, dark greens, and sapphires from the paintedporcelains of the Ming's Wanli period (1572 to 1620) reappear inthe mixed palette of reds, blues, and greens through which Guodepicts the palace grounds. Here, the oils are diluted to a thintranslucency that successfully projects a porcelain-like feeling oftransparency and lustrous color throughout the canvas. In hisbrushwork, too, Guo's swiftly moving brush produces drifting washesof color not unlike those of the ink-wash medium. Through thisingenious and masterful approach, Guo achieves an effects of bothclassical elegance and delicacy as well as an overall atmospherethat exudes imposing energy. The stylistic approach Guo establisheshere would continue to exert a decisive influence in his work afterhis later return to Taiwan. Guo Bochuan in Taiwan Tainan was Guo Bochuan's birthplace and the hometown to which hereturned after the war. He had a deep feeling for the region thathad nurtured him during his youth, and after his return in 1948 heresided permanently in Tainan, where for a 20-year period he taughtin the Architecture Department of Tainan's National Cheng KungUniversity. During the years in Taiwan, Guo studied the colors of itshandcrafted utensils, embroidery, and red-walled temples, searchingfor colors that would suit his personal artistic style and makingthe essential features of its native culture a part of his work,and in 1952, he and other artist friends also organized the TainanFine Arts Association. Compared to other Taiwanese artists of hisgeneration, Guo was prone to imposing strict demands on himself:his style conveys the impression of simplicity and depth, andemphasizes composition; his colors are strong and saturated and hisbrushwork precise, while his handling of line suggests acalligraphic artistry. All in all, Guo was an artist who soughtmastery of the essentials of painting. A statement he made throughhis Tainan Fine Arts Association is revealing of his artisticideals and outlook: "When we are deciding on the admission of a newmember to the Association, we pay special attention to questions ofcharacter, aside from considerations about the quality of theirwork. The success of an artist depends to a large degree on thehigh quality of their values and character, and can the work of anartist truly be called art if it does not reflect their characterand personality? We must see in it at least some reflection ofthese qualities." Wang Baiyuan further commented on Guo Bochuan'sstyle in a special 1955 issue of the Taipei Cultural Affairsquarterly. In his essay "History of the Taiwan Fine Arts Movement,"he wrote that "Guo's style emphasizes feeling; it finds simplicitywithin the complex, its variety is well harmonized, and all in allit constitutes a new style." *March 1955, Taiwan ProvinceHistorical Research Commission, pg. 63. Guo began experimenting in 1943 with the combination of Chinesexuan paper and oils, attempting to create a feeling of weight thatwould contrast with traditional oil techniques. His resulting useof xuan paper along with long-handled, round, soft-bristled brushessuccessfully produced a new kind of color with lightness,gracefulness, and transparency, which reflected the feel ofink-and-brush work. This new style enable Guo to convey subjectivepersonal perceptions through works based on a calligraphic sense ofthe structure and beauty of line and the abstraction of Chinesecharacters, combined with the texturing of layered oil pigments andhis free and energetic brushwork. The painterly effects of brushand ink stress the calligraphic beauty of line itself: theinitiation and continuation of the lines, their reversals andoutlining effects, their splotches of ink and their curved, fallingstrokes; then there is the play of the brush itself, the speed ofthe brush and the rhythm of its curves, the spreading washes andthe luster of liquid ink. The concept of using calligraphictechniques in painting was already familiar and well-defined intraditional Chinese painting, but Guo Bochuan innovated in the useof the energetic sweeps and turns of calligraphy and itstraditional aesthetics, marshalling these techniques to emphasizethree-dimensional effects and adding their simple richness to thearray of effects possible in oil. His oils were thus able tocommunicate the real and natural feel of modern scenes throughtechniques that nevertheless were redolent of their origins inancient and traditional landscape paintings. Guo produced a series of paintings featuring typically Taiwanesescenes, of which the Confucian temples of Tainan and its AnpingHarbor are particularly representative of his style. In thesetypically Taiwanese prospects Guo had seemingly rediscovered thefundamental architectural beauty of which he was so fond: theflying eaves of the temples, their embellished ridgework in the"horseback" style and their vermilion columns became naturalvehicles for Guo's cultivated and refined brushwork. Two GuoBochuan works from 1966 and 1972 respectively, Confucian Temple atTainan and Fishing Harbor at Anping, exemplify his approach to thetreatment of these subjects. Guo Bochuan oils presenting suchsubjects as Fishing Harbor at Anping are especially rare, and thisparticular work is one of the most outstanding of its kind in Guo'sentire oeuvre. After his return in 1948, Guo traveled throughout the island ofTaiwan and painted its beautiful scenery in a series ofoutstanding, memorable works. Among them are his 1953 DanshuiSunset and Danshui Scene, which express his fond impressions of thescenery of northern Taiwan. In particular, they capture importantlocal scenes and historical relics, such as the nearly 100-year-oldDanshui Church situated alongside the Danshui River and views ofthe distant Guanyin Mountain from across that same river. Each is areflection of the deep and nostalgic feeling of the people ofTaiwan for these particular scenes of their native land. Fruit andflower still lifes were also a favored subject of this artist, andprovide further insights into his attitudes toward life. In them,brilliant reds and finely patterned tablecloths form thebackgrounds to casual arrangements of books and daily items. Inthis Still Life, Guo presents his subject from an almost verticalposition and with selective detail, creating a vivid sense ofpresence with a sensibility that is in some ways almostphotographic, which allows viewers to analyze and interpret Guo'sconception from a personal, subjective perspective. Still Lifefully conveys the genuineness and directness of this artist'spersonality.
Auction: Sotheby's -Apr 9, 2008 - Hong-kongLot number: 858
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signed Bo in Chinese in a square and dated 35 (35th year of the Republic of China, corresponding to 1946), framed under perspex oil on canvas PROVENANCE Sotheby's Taipei, 16th October 1994, cover and Lot 59 Acquired directly from the above by the current owner LITERATURE AND REFERENCES The Collected Works of the Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Vol. 10: Guo Bochuan, Taiwan, 1993, cover and fig. 23 Li Qinxian, The Home-Museum: Collected Paintings of the Older Generation of Artists: The Uniqueness of Guo Bochuan, 1997, figs 4 - 19 CATALOGUE NOTE For further details on this work, please refer to the special auction catalogue, Guo Bochuan - The Forbidden City
Auction: Sotheby's -Oct 3, 2011 - Hong-kongLot number: 748
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LOT 748 GUO BOCHUAN 1901-1974 WAX APPLE AND MELON signed in Chinese and dated minguo calendar 58 executed in 1969. oil on paper 40 by 34.5 cm. 15 3/4 by 13 5/8 in.
Auction: Sotheby's -Oct 4, 2010 - Hong-kongLot number: 255
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GUO BOCHUAN 1901-1974 CONFUCIAN TEMPLE, TAINAN 600,000—700,000 HKD 34 by 33.8 cm.; 13 3/8 by 13 3/8 in. Oil on paper Description Signed in Chinese and dated 55 (Minguo calendar) (lowerright)Executed in 1966 Oil on paper Private Asian Collection