Poly 2007 Spring Auction: Guanzhong Wu¡¯s ¡°The Ancient City of Jiaohe¡±
Guanzhong Wu¡¯s ¡°The Ancient City of Jiaohe¡± has been cognized as a milestone of Mr. Guanzhong Wu¡¯s art accomplishments by academy. This art work has a big influence in the Chinese modern art history. Sixteen years ago, this art work broke the world auction record in Hong Kong, and attracted attention of international art market to Chinese artists.
¡°From the view of historian, Jiaohe city has millions of stories to tell; from the view of artists, Jiaohe city is a wonderful subject for them to draw history. All history has been condensed to my one square feet painting.¡± This is the notes Mr. Guanzhong Wu wrote for this art work. ¡°The Ancient City of Jiaohe¡± is undoubtedly one of highly important representative art works of Mr. Guanzhong Wu. When people are viewing this piece, they should naturally think of another ¡°sister¡± piece, ¡°Gaochang Ruins¡±. In 1989, ¡°Gaochang Ruins¡± was hammered at 1.87 million HK dollars that created a new auction record of Chinese artists¡¯ art works. Two years later, ¡°The Ancient City of Jiaohe¡± was hammered at 2.55 million HK dollars that created a new auction record of Chinese alive artists in the world again, and this record has not been broken until 2004.
Although the names of these two pieces of art works are different, they all draw the scene at the same location. Today, Jiaohe city is five kilometers away from northwest part of Tulufan, in Sinkiang province. From Western Han Dynasty to late Wei Dynasty, Jiaohe city was the capital of the state of South Cheshi, one of the kingdoms of the Han dynasty (206-220BC). In year 450, it was consolidated by Gaochang. And then, Gaochang established Jiaohe County here. After Gaochang was annihilated by Tang Dynasty, the old Jiaohe County was dilapidated and a new Jiaohe County was established in late Yuan Dynasty and early Ming Dynasty. Based on textual research, the finishing date of ¡°The Ancient City of Jiaohe¡± was earlier than the date of ¡°Gaochang Ruins¡±. ¡°The Ancient City of Jiaohe¡± has more influence and is more important than ¡°Gaochang Ruins¡±. ¡°The Ancient City of Jiaohe¡± gave a profound impression and feeling to other artists. This piece depicts thousand of crows and swans flying in the boundless sky that deeply express and imply loneliness of this old city. Many audiences have been convulsed and attracted by this art work. Mr. Guanzhong Wu is the only Chinese artist, who has been approved by Western society. ¡°The Ancient City of Jiaohe¡± is the most important art work in the mind of collectors of Guanzhong Wu¡¯s art works.