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Oils by pioneering artists on auction

(Shanghai Daily)

14:55, October 15, 2012

More than 130 canvases, including masterpieces by big names Guan Liang, Chen Chengbo and Chen Yifei. will be sold during the Autumn Auction of the Chong Yuan Art Auction House this week in Shanghai.

They are among 2,376 items, including porcelain, jade, calligraphy, coins and other antiques, to go under the hammer on the 10th anniversary of the opening of the auction house.

"These 132 oil paintings are the highlights," says Ji Chongjian, owner of the Shanghai auction house.

Titled "Shanghai Golden Age," the paintings are divided into three categories: pre-1949 works by Shanghai masters such as Yan Wenliang and Sha Qi; works created during the "cultural revolution" (1966-1976) and those created by young artists today.

The highlight is a nude painted by well-known Taiwanese painter Chen Cheng-po (1895-1947), whose works are very rare.

Many people on the Chinese mainland do not know his name, but his pioneering artworks, resistance to Kuomintang military repression and his tragic ending are becoming better known.

In 1926, one of his oil paintings was featured in the 7th Empire Art Exhibition in Japan, the first time a Taiwanese artist's work was shown there.

Chen devoted himself to education and improving civil society.

In 1926 he was elected to the city council in Chiayi city where he was born. He and three other peace advocates were shot dead in public in the 228 Incident, a popular uprising brutally suppressed by the Kuomintang on February 28, 1947.

"It is very rare for Chen's paintings to appear at auctions in Shanghai, because there are not many left," Ji says. "In my view, Chen is not only a hero in art but also a hero in democracy."

Date: October 16-17, 9:30am-6:30pm (preview); October 18-19, 9:30am (auction)
Venue: Okura Garden Hotel Shanghai, 58 Maoming Rd S.

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