Lot 236 Ravenel Autumn Auction 2022 Taipei

Ravenel Autumn Auction 2022 Taipei

Du Fond du Gouffre Espéré

CHU Teh-chun (Chinese-French, 1920 - 2014)


Oil on canvas

146 x 114 cm


TWD 18,000,000-28,000,000

HKD 4,467,000-6,948,000

USD 569,300-885,500

CNY 4,036,000-6,278,000

Sold Price

TWD 18,000,000

HKD 4,580,153

USD 588,428

CNY 4,137,931


Signed lower right CHU TEH-CHUN in English and Chinese, and dated 1993
Signed on the reserve CHU TEH-CHUN in English and Chinese, titled Du Fond du Gouffre Espéré in French and dated 1993

CHU TEH-CHUN, Artist magazine, Taipei, 1999, p191
This lot is to be sold with a photo signed by the artist, and a certificate of authenticity issued by Heritagr Art, Taipei.


Overviewing Chu Teh-chun's artistic creation is like appreciating a lyrical epic. The treatment of the picture in his works often leads people into a spiritual flow, "vivid spirit" is the most appropriate term to describe his works. The highest realm pursued by the ancient Chinese aesthetic theory is that though the form is rather plain and bland, but the connotation is so plump and rich. The beauty although is reflected in such a simple artistic conception, yet exactly this unsophisticated beauty represents the true meaning of life and the pinnacle of art, rather a kind of spiritual yearning. This point is exactly echoed with Wu Guanzhong's appraisal of Chu Teh-chun's style: "In Chinese tradition, the movement of ink brushstrokes and the elaboration to texture of silk or paper have created the characteristics of oriental paintings that should be viewed up close and so find intriguing. Teh-chun’s bold and decisive brushworks undoubtedly contributed to develop Chinese brush rhyme and ink interest in both contemporary and global scales.”

“The painting of Chu Teh-chun is an abyss, a gasp for breath of time and a dynamic poem. Its form seems to come from a high concentration of mind, in order to look straight into eye to eye with the audience." French art critic Pierre Cabanne is well known in the West for his intensive study of modern masters, and Chu Teh-chun is the only representative from Asia that he dissertates in monographs. When the night falls, the hustle and bustle of the day slowly settles. Where the rhythm of life continues in the tranquility when all things asleep, the vitality of the day is transformed into the energy of the night, which is accumulated, repaired and regenerated, while it is hidden simultaneously that only a clear and sensitive mind can perceive it. The calligraphic lines in Chu Teh-chun's paintings have gradually changed from the sonorous and powerful swirls of thick ink in the early days to a more integrated with the overall picture. His paintings have evolved through the period of elegant composition as if condensed gemstones in the early 1950s, to the period of large-scale, wild, vigorous and broad-brush abstract paintings in the 1960s, moving to the subtle exploration of subtleties and light sources inspired by Rembrandt's paintings in the 1970s, proceeding to the dripping snow scene series in the mid-1980s and finally the magnificent symphonic poetry ensemble rhythm in the later period, the artist has conquered extraordinary achievements in painting throughout his life.

Since the 1990s, the drug seizure rate has continued to rise and the international community has begun to pay attention to the drug problem. Among many transnational crimes, drugs have seriously damaged the economies of various countries. Only drug trafficking has indeed caught the eyes of the general public. “Du Fond du Gouffre Espéré” was created in 1993, Chu Teh-chun made such a full application of the vividness in Chinese calligraphy and introduced expressive elements such as rendering, remaining white, and dangling in ink and wash. Assuredly they are the rules of thumb that the artist realised from practising calligraphy over a long course of life. In Chu Teh-chun’s paintings, the contemplation of form and color, which precedes the light, as if integrating with the universe. “Du Fond du Gouffre Espéré” shows a high degree of spatial cohesion. The mysterious brilliance shines so unpredictable. While the radiant light blooms in the above mimics the light of the soul, giving people hope. The strong contrast releases the huge visual energy of the color itself, allowing the suffering soul to experience the first light in dawn along the long exploration. Where the light source pointed at indeed is the way out. The sense of gravity and lightness in the space are opposite to each other. As the undulating lines contract and expand, the space stretches out in diversity, the rhythmic breathing can be faintly heard in between, which echoes rippling among the empty valleys, empowering people strength and hope.

Related Info

Modern & Contemporary Art

Ravenel Autumn Auction 2022 Taipei

Sunday, December 4, 2022, 2:00pm