As the destination for international collectors to buy and sell the world’s most important contemporary work of arts, Phillips is set to transform its Hong Kong Gallery with the upcoming selling exhibition, Foujita / Sanyu: Muses and Models.
Presenting works focusing on 1920s and 1930s of Léonard-Tsuguharu Foujita and Sanyu, the exhibition pays homage to the artists’ exploration of the subject of the female nude, which made them pioneers of their generation.
Both lived in Paris in 1920s but hailed from Japan and China respectively, Foujita and Sanyu bridged Asian and Western traditions, merging traditional techniques derived from Japanese printing and Chinese calligraphy with the modern, liberal sensuality during their time in Paris.
Clara Rivollet, International Specialist of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, said “We are delighted to tour the exhibition from Paris to Hong Kong. Paris – an homage to the city which served as a backdrop for the Post WWI golden decade of emancipation, creative emulation and fruitful cultural exchanges. It marks the first time that Foujita and Sanyu are presented together in a dedicated exhibition. Both Foujita & Sanyu’s groundbreaking modernity offers a positive message with a hint of subversion, still very much relevant today.”
Foujita and Sanyu – A Comparative Journey
Hailing from Japan and China respectively, Foujita and Sanyu were both inspired and transformed by Paris and their engagement with the artistic avant-garde, mingling with their contemporaries at la Coupole or la Rotonde and at the dissenting artistic salon gatherings.
Drawing on the Japanese print tradition which chooses to ignore the representation of depth, Foujita’s hair-thin brush skillfully outlines the disinhibited female nude model against a porcelain-white solid ground. His command of the line and attention to detail result in a unique, almost surreal representation of the subject. While Foujita seeks perfection, Sanyu favours spontaneity, deliberately stylising the female body to a few modulated lines, successfully translating the logic of the Chinese character as an artistic form.
Both Foujita and Sanyu’s works offer glimpses of this uniquely rich ecosystem of emancipation, extreme creativity and cultural exchange which, though it collapsed with the beginning of WWII, remains to this day one of the most important and formative periods in the history of modern art.