Serendipity Shall Bring the Paintings to You – The Wong Nan-ping Family Collection This fall, Christie’s Hong Kong is proud to present a selection of paintings from the family collection of the latest true collector of traditional scholars – Jade Studio Master Mr. Wong Nan -ping (1924-1985). As an offspring of Qing scholars from Changzhou, Wong Nan-ping reunited with his father Wong Youlin (1900-1988), a successful textile businessman in Shanghai in 1937. He studied Chinese literature at the University of Fudan and in 1942 he became a close friend and pupil of the famous collector Ye Gongchuo (1881-1968). Despite a 42-year age difference, Ye was delighted to guide his young neighbor. This mentorship laid the foundation for Wong Nan-ping’s enduring passion for the collection and the connoisseur. Wong Nan-ping acquired his first paintings before he was 20 years old. With the help of his father Youlin, he purchased a group of Ming and Qing works by Ye Gongchuo and other important works, including Mi Youren’s spectacular views of the Xiao and Xiang, now in the Beijing Palace Museum. . In the late 1940s, he moved to Hong Kong and continued to acquire major works, sometimes even making trips to Taipei for masterpieces. Living in the United States and Hong Kong in the 1970s, he participated in auctions, received academics and fellow collectors, and lectured at private collectors’ clubs and institutions such as the Min Chiu. Society, the Kau Chi Society and the Rotary Club. With the help of his American friends who were university professors, he sponsored many children of his friends who were then able to go to college in the United States. A close friend of modern Chinese masters such as Zhang Daqian, Pu Ru, and Xie Zhiliu (who was also a relative), he always responded to requests from artists who wished to see and study the works in his collection. Wong Nan-ping’s collection was assembled over a lifetime of dedicated research and study, and recognized by all as one of the most distinguished collections of classical Chinese painting and calligraphy. In his manuscript — recently published in Record of Jade Studio’s Connoisseurship and Collecting — Wong develops his disciplined approach and insights learned from his mentors Ye Gongchuo and top Shanghai merchants like Sun Boyuan (1898-1984) from Jibao Zhai and Qian Jingtang ( 1907 -1983) by Liuying Tang. They include: making friends with people on the ground; watch more and buy less; have your own conviction and don’t blindly follow trends; be prepared to make bids above the market on the best works; and serendipity will bring you the paintings. The Jade Studio collection has been sought after by museums and academics for over half a century. Many works from the collection have been donated and are currently housed in top-notch museums. Notably, the only extant calligraphy by Wang Anshi (1021-1086) and Sothern Song Longshu’s version of his complete works were donated to the Shanghai Museum, a long-standing wish granted by his family posthumously. Exhibitions of selected works have been held at the Santa Barbara Art Museum, Yale University Art Gallery, University of Michigan Art Museum, Art Gallery of Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Spencer Art Museum, among others. Key publications on the collection, in particular The Jade Studio: Masterpieces of the Ming and Qing Painting and Calligraphy from the Wong Nan-p’ing Collection — written by eminent scholars in the field, including Richard M. Barnhart, James Cahill, Shen Fu and published by the Yale University Art Gallery – can be found in any university or museum library, attesting to its importance. “Without serendipity, even if you have it in hand, it will not stay.” For Wong Nan-ping, the two components of collection, acquisition and conservation, are two distinct aspects. Money alone does not guarantee the quality or longevity of a collection. His artistic taste reflects an inner self possessing the same qualities as the artists he admires and the works he cherishes. Throughout his career as a collector, Wong Nan-ping cultivates a life of benevolence, generosity, refinement and altruism. Loved by families, friends, academic and museum communities, it transcends the boundaries of collectors, connoisseurs, dealers, scholars, artists and academics, and is in a class of its own. PROPERTY OF THE WONG NAN-PING FAMILY COLLECTION (LOTS 854-873)


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