(LIAO JICHUN, Chinese, 1902-1976)
signed in Chinese; signed 'C. LIAO' in Pinyin (lower left); titled, dated, signed and inscribed in Chinese (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
49 x 60 cm. (19 1/4 x 23 5/8 in.)
Painted in 1964
Formerly Collection of the artist's second son, Mr Liao Shou-wen
Private Collection, Asia
Pacific Cultural foundation, Liao Chi-Chun, Taipei, Taiwan, 1981 (illustrated, p. 149; illustrate in black and white, p. 202).
Ho Cheng Kuang (ed.), Artist Publishing Co. Ltd., Liao Chi-Chun, Taipei, Taiwan, 1981 (illustrated, p. 58).
Lin Hsin-Yue (ed.), Artist Publishing Co. Ltd., Taiwan Fine Arts Series 4 - Liao Chi Chun, Taipei, Taiwan, 1992 (illustrated, plate 62, p. 105; illustrated in black and white, p. 228).
Taipei Fine Arts Musedum, Liao Chi-Ch'un: Landscape in Spain (Reserach Exhibition from the Museum Collection I), Taipei, Taiwan, 1993 (illustrated, p. 23).
Art & Collection Publishing Ltd., Guide to Asia Pacific Chiense Art Market, Taipei, Taiwan, 1997 (illustrated, front cover).
Li Chin-Shian (ed.), Hsiungshih Arts Publishing Co. Ltd., Master Works By Taiwan First Generation Artists - Liao Chi Ch'un, Taipei, Taiwan, 1997 (illustrated, p. 119).
Respective Art Center, The precursory Artist's Masterpieces of Taiwan II, Taipei, Taiwan, 1999 (illustrated, p. 35).
Southern Taiwan Art Collectors Association, Taiwan Art (Part II), Taipei, Taiwan, 2000 (illustrated, pp. 42-43).
Taipei, Taiwan, The 30th Taiwan Provincial Fine Arts Exhibition, 1975.


"I use simple and intense colours to create more vibrant sense of colouring through contrast and emphasis. At the same time, I place concern over the form and playfulness in the formation of lines. I am not describing am impression in a given period of time, but presenting the sense of coloring I had hoped for."
- Liao Chi-Ch'un

The technical foundation and concepts that Liao Chi-Ch'un gained during his early studies in Japan brought out in his work a rigorous emphasis on sketching and the use of bold color. Liao's individual creative style can therefore be seen as based on both his solid foundations in painting from life as well as his strong innate powers of observation. Since the end of 1950s, the artist started experimenting and exploring in the realm of abstract painting. His painting style underwent an obvious stylistic change since returning home from European and America in 1962. After the "Garden" series in 1970, Liao did not orient towards a more in-depth exploration in pure abstraction; instead, he decided to visualize his reinterpretation of "form" and "colour" through figurative landscapes. For the evening auction, Christie's will be presenting three more mature works by the artist in his later years. They demonstrate the artist's integration of subjective colours and abstract forms. Through works created from different periods, of diverse themes, one can see the unique thoughts, and distinct style, which Liao consistently displayed.

Given a comprehensive observation on the development of Liao's art, the subject of the seascape was repeatedly explored and researched through realistic sketching style of his early period, with the use of the pink colour of fauvism in 1960s and the deconstruction of landscape that cross between semi-representation and abstract; In 1975, Liao, who was the judging committee member of the Taiwan Provincial Fine Arts Exhibition, entered the exhibition with Ferryboat (Lot 2018), demonstrating the artist's own pride in this work from this period. The breakthrough within the painting, in terms of form, colour and space, are concrete embodiments of the peak of his artistic career.

Bright and highly saturated colours almost occupied the majority of Ferryboat, rather than adhering to the appearance and shape of objects in reality, he reconstructs the objects with his perception of nature, not only preserving the visual balance but also strengthening the sense of rhythm of the painting within a well-arranged composition. Details of boats in the foreground, the water, mountainous landscape on the other side of the bank, and the sky, have been broken into basic elements such as dots, lines and surfaces. As the lines are breaking apart the restriction of movement set up by the surfaces, Liao selectively traced the contour of the ferryboats and the scenes on the bankside. The images become blurrier as they recede into the distance. Therefore, although there are no changes in colour saturation, the inspired use of perspective creates a spatial sense with a strong depth of field. In terms of the use of colour, the cold and warm hues intersect with each other, the artist made use of softer neutral colours to balance out the possible conflicts between the primary colours wherered, yellow and blue meet. Not only were the warm colours applied as the bright area within the painting, pink lines are also used to illustrate the backlight coming from the top of the mountain. The subtle changes within the white colour emphasize the subjective feeling and stimulation brought about by the colours: the white and bluish tone of the sea creates the refreshing coolness of the water, while warm tone of the cream sky conveys the light and warmth of the sun. Colours are no longer dependent of the lines or surfaces, but are taking the predominant role according to the artist's intention, and complementing the brushstrokes and textures. As Liao surpassed the barrier of form, the expression of the main theme is rid of restriction and becomes freer. Not only is Ferryboat a perfect combination of theme and form, the painting is tightly orchestrated from its compositional arrangement to the dots, lines and surfaces. It stands for the artist's ideological mapping from figurative to abstraction, from deconstruction to reconstruction.