Lifelike Masterpiece From Legendary Chinese Entertainment Mogul’s Collection To Be Auctioned | Auctions News | THE VALUE

Entertainment mogul and philanthropist Sir Run Run Shaw had a lasting impact on the Chinese-language film and television industries.

The Shaw Brothers Studio and Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB) in Hong Kong were both established by Shaw. Through both platforms, many stars and filmmakers have shone and become internationally popular.

In 2014, he died at the age of 106. Some of his latest collection will feature in Sotheby’s sales in Hong Kong this spring season – including modern art, Chinese painting and calligraphy and jade. Proceeds from the auction of the collection will be donated to the Shaw Foundation Hong Kong to support the organization’s charitable projects.

Chen Yifei’s masterpiece, Banquet, is the flagship lot of the Shaw’s Collection. In 1992, the painting appeared on the cover of Christie’s auction catalog in Hong Kong and was purchased by Shaw for HK$1.98 million (approximately US$250,000) – setting the auction record for the era for Chinese oil paintings. And after 30 years, Banquet will be auctioned again – can it set a new auction record for the Chinese realist painter?

Chen Yifei │ Banquet, Oil on canvas

Created in 1991
137×208cm
Origin:

  • Sale: Christie’s Swire, Hong Kong, March 30, 1992, lot 50 (illustrated on cover and p. 81)
  • Collection of Sir Run Run Shaw (acquired directly from the sale above)

Sale: Modern Evening Auction

Quote on request

Born in Ningbo, eastern China, Sir Run Run Shaw (Shao Renleng) was born into a wealthy textile family as the sixth of seven children. In 1925, his older brother, Shao Renjie, founded the Tianyi Film Company in Shanghai.

Shaw began his film career doing odd jobs for his older brothers’ company, the equivalent of a mail clerk in Hollywood, but with a much more versatile role. He finished high school in Shanghai and his father expected him to go to college. But Shaw loved what he did in the business, rotating through many roles – including screenwriter, actor, director and cinematographer; a role in which he excelled.

Mr Run Run Shaw

In 1927, he traveled to Singapore to assist his third eldest brother, Shao Renmei, in their business venture there, initially to market films to the Chinese community in Southeast Asia. Together they created the company that later became the Shaw Organization and were involved in the distribution and production of films in Southeast Asia. – in countries like Malaysia and Singapore.

During World War II, the film career of the Shaw Brothers took its toll. In 1957, Shaw returned to Hong Kong and founded Shaw Brothers Studio. Built on the shore of Clearwater Bay, the production center called movietown meant that movie stars, directors and technicians could work on their latest creations.

Over 1,000 films have been produced by the Studio and have been well received – including themes of martial arts, heroism, comedy and drama. For example, The one-armed swordsman (1967) set a Hong Kong box office record and led to several sequels. During this period, the Studio’s reputation became international and developed profitable side deals with Hollywood studios.

In addition to the entertainment industry, Shaw was also a prominent philanthropist. In 1973, he founded the Shaw Foundation Hong Kong to promote the global development of education, health, scientific research and the arts. In 2002, the Shaw Prize was established – international researchers are recognized for their outstanding contributions in the fields of astronomy, life sciences and medicine, and mathematical sciences.

Films such as One Armed Swordsman (1967) were created by the Shaw Brothers Studio

Created in 1991, the painting Banquet by Chen Yifei was collected by Sir Run Run Shaw. Measuring 137 by 208 centimeters, this work is part of the artist’s series of paintings from the 1990s depicting classical Chinese beauties.

In 1992, the painting appeared on the cover of Christie’s auction catalog in Hong Kong. In the end, it was purchased for HK$1.98 million (about US$250,000).

Chen’s oil paintings combine classical realistic and romantic styles, inspired by both Eastern and Western art and culture. In 1980, he went to Hunter College in New York to study an MFA. Three years later, in 1983, his solo exhibitions of landscapes in eastern China caused a sensation by selling out in the first week. Chen went on to hold several solo exhibitions, and his artistic style caught the attention of the Western art world.

In 2017, Chen’s auction record was set – his Hot Spring at the Jade Pavilion the painting was sold at China Guardian, Beijing, for 149.5 million RMB (approximately US$23.4 million). It was bought by Chinese billionaire collector, Liu Yiqian, at a record price.

Chen’s Hot Spring at the Jade Pavilion (1993)

Chen’s top three auction records are:

  1. Hot Spring at the Jade Pavilion (1993)|China Guardian Beijing, 2017|Sold: 149,500,000 RMB (about US$23.4 million)
  2. Upland Wind (1994)|China Guardian Beijing, 2011|Sold: 81,650,000 RMB (about US$18 million)
  3. Beauties on the walk (1997)|Christie’s Hong Kong, 2018|Sold: HK$83,350,000 (about US$10.6 million)

Measuring 169.5 by 243.5 centimeters, Hot Spring at the Jade Pavilion is nearly 45% larger than Banquet. Using Hot Spring at the Jade Pavilionselling price as a reference, the selling price of Banquet is about 103 million RMB (about 16.1 million US dollars).

If sold at this price, it will become Chen’s second most expensive painting – ahead of Upland Wind which earned 81.6 million RMB (about US$12.8 million) at China Guardian, Beijing in 2011. It was also bought by Liu Yiqian.

Chen’s Upland Wind (1994)

Chen’s Beauties on the walk (1997)


Alongside Chen, the sale brings four Southeast Asian works of art from the Shaw Collection – by two artists, Cheong Soo Pieng and Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur de Merpres. The paintings capture a captivating view of life in Southeast Asia.

Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur de Merpres │ Four Balinese women inside Le Mayeur house, Sanur, Bali; Oil on canvas

Created between 1954-1957
89.5 x 111cm
Origin:

  • Sir Run Run Shaw Collection

Sale: Modern Evening Auction

Estimate: 2,000,000 to 3,000,000 HK$

Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur de Merpres │ Three Balinese in the garden, oil on canvas in original hand carved Balinese frame

Created between 1954-1957
75 x 90.5cm
Origin:

  • Sir Run Run Shaw Collection

Sale: Modern Evening Auction

Estimate: HK$1,500,000-2,500,000

Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur de Merpres │ Two Balinese women with offerings, Sanur beach, oil on canvas

Created between 1954-1957
75 x 90.5cm
Origin:

  • Sir Run Run Shaw Collection

Sale: Modern Evening Auction

Estimate: HK$800,000 – 1,500,000

Cheong Soo Pieng │ Brother and Sister, oil on canvas

Created in 1976
99×81cm
Origin:

  • Sir Run Run Shaw Collection

Sale: Modern Evening Auction

Estimate: 700,000 – 900,000 HK$


In addition to modern art, Chinese paintings and calligraphy, as well as jade collected by Sir Run Run Shaw are equally exquisite. Highlights include masterpieces such as Fu Baoshi See a towering waterfall, by Zhang Daqian lotus in the wind and a 17th-20th century jadeite incense burner and lid.

Fu Baoshi │ Viewing a towering waterfall, Ink and color on paper, framed

Created in 1962
109.3 × 63.3cm
Sale: Fine Chinese Paintings

Estimate: 3,500,000 to 6,000,000 HK$

Zhang Daqian Lotus in the wind, ink and color on paper, framed

Created in 1970
179.2 × 89.8cm
Sale: Fine Chinese Paintings

Estimate: 3,000,000 to 5,000,000 Hong Kong dollars

Lin Fengmian │ Landscape, ink and color on paper, framed

68.5 x 67.3cm
Sale: Fine Chinese Paintings

Estimate: HK$1,500,000-3,000,000

Fan Zeng │ Sitting under the pine, ink and color on paper, framed

Created in 1980
111.2 × 67.8cm
Sale: Fine Chinese Paintings

Estimate: 100,000 – 200,000 HK$

Jadeite lobed tripod incense burner and lid

Created during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Height: 21cm
Sale: Important Chinese Arts including Jades from the De An Tang Collection and Jardins de Plaisir – Erotic Art from the Berthelot Collection

Estimate: 500,000 – 700,000 HK$

Comments are closed.