Lot 221 Ravenel Autumn Auction 2021 Taipei

Ravenel Autumn Auction 2021 Taipei

Beauty is Like a Fragrant Flower

ZHOU Chunya (Chinese, 1955)


Oil on canvas

200 x 280 cm


TWD 34,000,000-46,000,000

HKD 9,497,000-12,849,000

USD 1,220,800-1,651,700

CNY 7,925,000-10,723,000

Sold Price

TWD 38,400,000

HKD 10,786,517

USD 1,385,281

CNY 8,827,586


Signed lower right ZHOU Chunya in Chinese and English and dated 2011

Tang Contemporary Art, Beijing
Private collection, Asia


While unmistakably influenced by traditional literati painters such as Dong Qichang, Shi Tao, Bada Shanren, and Huang Binhong, Zhou’s exploration of traditional themes sought to expand upon existing conventions by incorporating the brash colors and influences of Western artistic movements. Zhou admits, “I liked the forms...of the literati, but wasn’t satisfied with that overly moderate, introspective character, so I thought up a bold and risky experiment—to use that elegant form to convey violent, even erotic overtones.” With such an experiment in mind, the Peach Blossom series demonstrates Zhou’s aesthetic exploration,imbuing the grace and fluidity of the literati tradition with the power and passion of modern artistic movements.

Taking a subject already replete with significance from mythology and lore, in his Peach Blossom series Zhou augments the inherent symbolism of the peach blossom in his paintings through his striking utilization of color and effect. Zhou describes these flowers as, “in a fluid emotion and mood of colors, flows indulgence of primitive and sincere imaginations. It is the total release of human nature against a grand scene, an explosion of gentle violence.” A reoccurring motif in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean art, peach

blossoms impart connotations of immortality, femininity, fragility, and sensuality.

Beauty Is Like A Fragrant Flower encapsulates the sensual nature of the blossoms, as the delicate shades of pink form an eruption of soft yet commanding color, nearly tangible in depth and elegance. The gently billowing petals seem to dance effortlessly across the canvas, blown by a temperate breeze. Displaying their fragility against the stiff rough branches, the soft pillows of the blossoms contrast the solidity of the brilliant green leaves. Darker scarlet hues splash across the background, supplying depth and variance, as each bud seems to burst with passion and the forces of nature. Such an example of the series clearly demonstrates Zhou’s spirit in painting the peach blossoms, as he states “the countless hues of red stir up excitement and soothe the soul at the same time...Covertly or overtly, all my work is about sensuality and love, because like the peach blossom, love and eroticism are reverberating with the primeval force of life.” The myriad hues of enveloping pink and passionate red in Beauty Is Like A Fragrant Flower permeate the canvas, radiating the vivacious erogenous nature of the series.
Related Info

Modern & Contemporary Art

Ravenel Autumn Auction 2021 Taipei

Sunday, December 5, 2021, 2:00pm