Yulong Mountain Ink and colour on paper, framed and glazed Signed Wu Guanzhong, with two seals of the artist 95cm x 179cm (37½in x 70½in).
Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist by Lucy Lim (1940-2007), Executive Director, Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco in 1989 Purchased at Butterfields, San Francisco, 10 December 1992, Lot 4716 Currently in an American private collection
Born in Zamboanga, Philippines, Lucy Lim was a renowned American art critic who received her PhD in Chinese art history from New York University's Institute of Fine Arts in her early years. She was one of the first western scholars to research about Chinese art in China after the Cultural Revolution. A fellowship from the United States Social Science Research Council for research in China for the years 1975 to 1977 as well as financial assistance from the National Endowment of the Arts and the Asian Cultural Council allowed her to travel to China to meet artists and select works for her exhibitions in America.
Lim served as Executive Director and Curator of Exhibitions at San Francisco's Chinese Culture Centre from 1981 to 1990. In 1983, she organised 'Contemporary Chinese Painting: An Exhibition from the People's Republic of China', which introduced thirty-six Chinese contemporary artists and their oeuvres to the west, and Wu Guanzhong was one of them. Lim regarded Wu Guanzhong's works to assume pivotal importance in China's contemporary art world, therefore she began to curate the 'Wu Guanzhong: A Contemporary Chinese Artist' exhibition in 1985, after two years. From 1989 to 1999, the show travelled to five venues in America including Chinese Culture Centre of San Francisco, Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama and the Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan. It was Wu Guanzhong's first solo exhibition in America, which had extraordinary significance. As a result, a strong bond of friendship began to form between Lim and Wu who regarded each other as friends, also passing words of appreciation to each other in the 'Wu Guanzhong: A Contemporary Chinese Artist' exhibition catalogue (See Lucy Lim ed., Wu Guanzhong: A Contemporary Chinese Artist, The Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco, 1989, pp.vii, xx and xxi.)
'Yulong Mountain' was acquired directly from the artist by Lucy Lim in the 1980s when she was curating the 'Wu Guanzhong: A Contemporary Chinese Artist' exhibition. Fond of Yulong Mountain, Wu created approximately ten works of similar subject matter in drawing, album leaves and larger format from 1978 to 1990, including 'Yulong Mountain', 'Remembering Yulong Mountain in the Moonlight', 'Yulong Mountain Under the Moon' and 'The Yulong Mountains Snowcapped', this work being one of them. (See in sequence, Lucy Lim ed., Wu Guanzhong: A Contemporary Chinese Artist, The Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco, 1989, pp.152, 118 and 55; Shui Tianzhong, Wang Hua eds. The Complete Works of Wu Guanzhong, Volume 6, Hunan Fine Arts Publishing House, Changsha, 2007, p.302.) This work extends the artist's exploration of Yulong Mountain, portraying the snow-covered and fog-enlaced meandering ranges that resemble a jade dragon lying in the clouds.
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