Liu Kang (1911-2004) Ni Pollok

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Lot 2
Liu Kang
(1911-2004)
Ni Pollok

HK$ 200,000 - 300,000
US$ 26,000 - 39,000
Liu Kang (1911-2004)
Ni Pollok
1952

signed and dated 1952
pastel on paper

61.5 by 47 cm.
23 5/8 by 18 4/8 in.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    The family of the artist

    *Please note that this lot is located in Singapore. Buyer is responsible to arrange shipping from present location of lot to buyer's desired destination. To enquire shipping quote, please contact [email protected]

    There was little doubt that Bali was for these artists enthralling and exotic. But it is not only this. There is also little doubt that they regarded Bali as integral to their respective Selfs. And this is because they, as with Bali, are of this region. These four artists sustained great discretion in their observation and thematization of the female in Bali. They did not like many European painters' resident and practising in Bali, conceptualise and present the female as spectacle.

    ― TK Sabapathy, Bali, Almost re-visited, 1994


    Prominent overseas Chinese artist and pivotal pioneer of the Nanyang school, Liu Kang (1911-2005) was born in Fujian Province and received his formal training in Chinese painting at the Shanghai College of Fine Arts (later known as the Xinhua Art Academy). During his time in Paris in 1928-33, Liu was captivated by the modern art movements such as Fauvism and Post-Impressionism, all of which impacted his oeuvre.

    In June 1952, Liu Kang and his Nanyang contemporaries went on an artistic quest to Bali, a defining moment in the growth and development of their respective artistic processes. On their trip, they explored the island paradise which had attracted artists from all over the world, one of whom, Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur, welcomed them at his home in Sanur with his Balinese wife and muse, Ni Pollok.

    A famous legong dancer portrayed as an exotic and romantic subject by almost every other artist, here she exudes a different charm, appearing both composed and relaxed. Liu Kang paints a rare and sincere portrait of a pensive beauty deep in thought after a long day spent entertaining a large group of artists at her home.

    The genesis of this historical moment was captured both in film and with this colourful and charming en plein air pastel portrait―a testament to the confluence of so many important Southeast Asian artists. Even after nearly 70 years, Liu Kang's pastel still retains all its freshness and vivacity.

    I have been to Bali six times, the first in 1952. Every trip provided me with material for about 20 pieces of pastels works, along with a dozen or two of pencil sketching.

    ― Liu Kang in Singapore Artists Speak, 1990, p.68
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