Zeng Chuanxing & Ju Ming

Tanya Baxter Contemporary
May 30, 2017 3:55PM

Two stunning pieces, Zeng Chuanxing's 'Red Paper Bride' & Ju Ming's 'Single Whip,' are showcased in this short film.

Ju Ming, arguably Taiwan’s most influential sculptor, was born in Miaoli, Tongsiao, in 1938. Since 2000 Ju Ming’s achievements in art have received greater appreciation in all fields. In 2003 he was awarded honorary Doctor of Art by Fu Jen Catholic University. They appreciate what Ju Ming has done to pursue further achievements in art and are thankful for his dedication to art education in Taiwan and internationally. Ju Ming has also received the cultural award from the Executive Yuan - considered the highest honor and prize for anyone involved in art and cultural circles in Taiwan. They are seen as lifetime achievement awards given to people who have made great efforts to preserve and promote art and culture. In 2007 Ju Ming was awarded the Fukuoka Art and Culture Award for his dedication and effort in the development of Asian culture, becoming the second Taiwanese artist to receive this award.

Single Whip, from Ju Ming’s Taichi series, is one of his most sought after and most valuable pieces. His record auction sale of over £2 million was for a bronze Single Whip, as well as his second highest auction sale of over £1.5 million for another bronze Single Whip edition. Single Whip continues to be one of the most important pieces of his Taichi series, having strong and steadily increasing sales records throughout the years. As Ju Ming gains even more international regard his market will only continue to increase.

Painted in 2010, Red Paper Bride, stands as an iconic example of Zeng Chuanxing’s celebrated Paper Bride series. In vogue with the adaptations of classical realism techniques that formed the zeitgeist of early twenty-first century Chinese art, Zeng Chuanxing’s Red Paper Bride is a tour de force of his mastery of oils.

Painted with painstakingly detailed brushstrokes, the artist’s dexterous hand has transformed the flat canvas into a tromp l’oeil of texture and jaunty surfaces. Light catches the sitter’s eye with a startling reality as her unbroken gaze confronts the viewer. Believing that it is only the eyes and hands of an individual that give true representation of the human soul, these two anatomical features remain a clear focus for the artist throughout his oeuvre, adding a unique character and personality to each of his models.

Echoing the growing Western influence on Chinese culture at the time, the crumpled paper drapery stands out from the two dimensional plane with a lifelike reality reminiscent of an Old Master painting. Further dialogue between Western and Chinese tradition continues in the bride’s paper fabric with the symbolically chose colour schemes by the artist. Each of the Sichuan minority women portrayed in this series are clad in either white or red paper; red representing Chinese tradition and white representing Western tradition.

Tanya Baxter Contemporary