5億元尋找烏托邦 Visions of High Returns

吳冠中《周莊》Wu Guanzhong’s “The Zhou Village”
每當經濟衰退的日子,有一種說法是將資金投於另類投資以作避險。在 4 月初兩天的拍賣會上,分別看到兩位中國畫壇大師的畫作創下了拍賣最高紀錄。這是金股匯下滑資金的另謀出路,抑或是藝術品又再掀起新一浪熱潮呢?
Some investors believe in seeking out alternative investments as a way to hedge against recessions. This past April, at two different art auctions, two Chinese masters each set sales records. Has art become an attractive investment?

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[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]4[/dropcap]月4日,保利拍賣會上吳冠中油畫《周莊》以 1.3 億港元起拍,最後以 2.36 億港元成交,創下畫家最高紀錄,也是中國當代油畫最高紀錄。第二天蘇富比拍賣會中,張大千《桃源圖》亦創下 2.7 億港元的畫家最高紀錄。以當前中國當代畫作的價值水漲船高來看,張大千可直比同樣是畢生無窮盡創新的畢加索,吳冠中或者可相較於突破前人繪畫窠臼的安地華荷了!

蘇州水鄉與台北雙溪

令人感到有趣的,是此兩幅作品有着既偶然又必然的相似因素。《周莊》描繪的是蘇州水鄉的美景,早於八十年代吳冠中就被其美景所吸引,專程從黃山趕到周莊寫生,在1997年以78歲高齡再以昔日寫生與水墨,為新加坡的「吳冠中美術館」特別大展廳度身訂製這張長達3米的巨型油畫作品,這自然是畫家一生投注夢想中烏托邦的勝景。

巧合的是大千先生的潑墨大作《桃源圖》創作於1982年,時年83歲,也高達2.3米,是他落戶台北城郊外雙溪找到他的林中天堂建立「摩耶精舍」,期望在山水之間與農家田園為伍,萬沒料到農地不久便被富戶的新社區所取代,引來不少人到此地買宅種花,以至建起高樓大宅,令大千先生借此大畫作抒發徒嘆桃園何處尋的無奈何。

兩幅作品都創作於畫家的晚年:創作於1982年的《桃源圖》算得上張大千晚年之作,第二年他就心臟病發而離世;而吳冠中創作《周莊》時已78歲,雖則吳老活到91歲高齡,然而畫家巔峰之年正是80歲以前。近年收藏家往往深入研究到作品在美術史上的江湖地位,特別是作品是否創作於很特殊的一段時光、最巔峰的歲月、又或是最後的作品等等,其收藏的價值往往也取決於一張作品在美術史上是否擁有那一席位。

中西美學之糅合

《桃源圖》使用的潑彩潑墨是張大千晚年的獨創,既糅合了西方抽象藝術的特徵,又使用了東方的水墨語言。曾經畢家索參觀了一回大千先生的畫展,竟然說看不到張大千的作品,此一言驚醒一味摹倣水墨傳統的張大千,遂創造出前無古人的潑墨潑彩畫法;即使宋朝梁楷早有《潑墨仙人》圖,但加上了潑彩就絕對是曠古礫今之造法了。

相較於《周莊》,其實也反映出吳冠中融匯中西美學的探索努力,他跟趙無極及朱德群合稱為「留法三劍客」,然而前兩位大師都以抽象見稱,唯獨吳冠中予人寫實風格,他游走於抽象具象之間,東方人比較欣賞寫實畫的會喜歡其畫作猜得到是描繪甚麼、西方人愛抽象畫的也喜歡其畫作在猜到與猜不到之間將現實夢幻化。

共通之處還有兩位畫壇巨擎同時都有很深的香港淵源。張大千在離開中國以後,1949年曾在香港暫住。1950年吳冠中留學巴黎返國,亦途經香港逗留一段時間。只是兩人當年有沒有機會在這個動蕩時勢擦身而過呢?1962年大會堂開幕就特別舉辦了一個「張大千作品邀請展」,其時的畫作才100多港元一張。吳冠中晚年先後5次捐贈作品予自己心之所繫的城市「香港藝術館」,合共多達77幅畫作,包括不少大型作品,可見其對香港情意之深。

張大千《桃源圖》Zhang Daqian’s “Peach Blossom Spring”
張大千《桃源圖》Zhang Daqian’s “Peach Blossom Spring”

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[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]O[/dropcap]n 4th April 2016, at Poly Auction Hong Kong auctioned Wu Guanzhong’s “The Zhou Village” for HK$236 million (the estimate had been set at HK$130 million), setting a sales record for the painter’s works as well as setting the record for modern and contemporary Chinese oil painting. At the second day of Sotheby’s spring auction in Hong Kong, Zhang Daqian’s “Peach Blossom Spring” also set a record for the artist, selling for HK$270 million.

It’s interesting to note the similarities between the two paintings. “The Zhou Village” depicts the beautiful scenery of Suzhou’s famous water village. Wu had been captivated by the village since the 80s. In 1997, at the age 78, he made a trip to Zhou Village in order to paint this painting for Singapore Art Museum, which had commissioned this 3-meter long oil painting for its exhibition hall of the artist’s works.

Zhang Daqian’s splashed ink painting, “Peach Blossom Spring”, was painted in 1982 at the age of 83. It was painted to commemorate his piece of paradise in the countryside outside Taipei and built Moye Jingshe. Both works were created in the artists’ later years. In fact, Zhang passed away of a heart attack a year after he painted “Peach Blossom Spring”. While Wu lived to 91, many consider Wu’s greatest works to have been painted before he turned 80. In recent year, collectors have become more particular about collecting works from artists’ peak periods and representative of their distinctive styles, and these two works are prime examples.
The famous painter Pablo Picasso once remarked that he couldn’t see Zhang’s style in his work, and this spurred Zhang to create his now characteristic splashed ink style, which blends the language of Chinese ink paintings with that of Western abstract art. Similarly, “The Zhou Village” also represents Wu’s efforts to bridge Chinese and Western aesthetics. Unlike Zao Wou-ki and Chu The-chun, Wu did not choose the path of abstraction, rather opting for more realism in his paintings.

吳冠中作畫時之神態。 Wu Guanzhong engrossed in his work
吳冠中作畫時之神態。 Wu Guanzhong engrossed in his work

蘇富比拍賣會場中,張大千《桃源圖》成為焦點。 Zhang Daqian’s “Peach Blossom Spring” was the highlight of Sotheby’s auction
蘇富比拍賣會場中,張大千《桃源圖》成為焦點。 Zhang Daqian’s “Peach Blossom Spring” was the highlight of Sotheby’s auction

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