Dapu (Zhang Ai Min) Page 2:
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Catalogue Number  


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Phoenix, painting by Zhang Ai Min (Dapu)   Phoenix, original oil painting by Zhang Ai Min (Dapu), 2012

Another one of Zhang Aimin's (Dapu) more abstract paintings, we loved the colors.
  $2,500   80x65cm  
Soaring Hawks: painting by Dapu 606. Soaring Hawks: original oil painting on canvas by Dapu (Zhang Ai Min), 2009

The practice of writing Indian Buddhist sutras on banners, which legend attributes to Shakyamuni Buddha, was transmitted to other regions, and came to Tibet about 1,000 years ago.  Today, they decorate mountain ridges and high peaks, in the Himalayas.  They come in five colors, denoting the five elements, and they have wood-block prints of prayers and images.  These long ones are called lung ta, in Tibetan, meaning wind horse, and are hung in high places so that their blessing may be carried on the wind, which is purified by their words.

Dapu wanted to capture the image of the howling wind in the Himalayas, in this painting, which he has done, not only with the prayer flags, but also with the clouds, the grass and the soaring hawks.
  $2,000   80x65cm  
Flowers of the Fields: painting by Dapu (Zhang Ai Min) 641. Gesang Flowers of the Fields: original oil painting on canvas by Dapu (Zhang Ai Min) 2009

This is an at-home family portrait of the Zang nomad sheep and cattle herders who roam the Tibetan Plateau and of whose lives Dapu has painted a number of paintings.  The Gesang flower is a hardy flower that grows on the Tibetan Plateau and can withstand the howling winds and heavy downpours.  This sizable painting has been chosen for a book celebrating the 60 year anniversary of the Peoples Republic of China.

With their home, in the background, a cow grazing, in between, herds of cattle and sheep, off in the distance, and hawks soaring, in the sky, it is a beautiful piece of social commentary about the simple lifestyle of the Zang nomadic herders on the Tibetan Plateau, today.  Although the older women are dressed in traditional clothing and jewelry, the family motorcycle and the dress of the children shows that the modern world is gradually mixing into their lives.  Yet the realistic style shows the carefree and happy demeanor of these gentle peoples who follow their herds around the plateau: the flowers of the fields of the north side of the Himalayas.

We have seen other paintings of beautiful girls from the area, but we like this one so much more for its honest and beautiful portraiture of the real people who live in and off the land.
  $7,500   150x130cm  
Haystack and Cow: original oil painting by Dapu 165. Haystack and Cow: original oil painting on canvas by Dapu (2008)

Life in the Himalayas can be harsh, but the end of winter is cause for celebration.  In this painting, Dapu (Ai Min Zhang) has captured a scene of a cow tied to a log, resting by a mound of hay.  It is the end of the winter, so, snow is still melting on the ground.  In the background, we see people out and about the old rural town: walking, sitting, conversing, and enjoying the thaw.  Dapu is one of the few artists who have taken it upon themselves to chronicle life in the high-mountain regions around Tibet.  He tells us that living there is like moving back in time.  Life is simple, the air is thin, the weather is harsh, but we appreciate that he, like Gauguin, has chosen to move to a beautiful and pristine area of the world to bring us art from such wonderful setting that most of us would, otherwise, never get a chance to experience.  This is one of two haystack paintings in our collection: the other is a smaller painting of haystack and mountain by Meng Liu.  Dapu is a newer artist who we have recently added to our collection and our gallery.

  $1,700   82x66cm  
The Herders: oil painting by Dapu 142. The Herders: original oil painting on canvas by Dapu (Ai Min Zhang)

Dapu, aka Ai Min Zhang, is an up-and-coming artists, so it is an opportune time to buy his works.  His mentor is the famous painter-philosopher Zheng Tian Li, who gave him his name, which means "without guile", and his style is like that of a young Guang Zhi Zhang.  Dapu, moreover, has moved to Qinghai, in the mountains next to Tibet to chronicle the life and natural scenic beauty of the area.  Indeed, not many artists have dared to venture into the high-altitude of that area, much less lived there, so paintings of the area are relatively rare.  We especially loved this painting because of its balance and the unusual pose of the herder girl, in the foreground, which reminds us, a little, of dancers in a Degas painting.  Her simple, yet colorful, native clothing makes her stand out against and complement the colors of the background, and the colors of the wild flowers help to fix our attention on her.  One little lamb looks on, curiously, as the herder goes about her work, in the field, and it is a wonderful expression on his face.  He also helps to lead our eye back to the center of the painting where a larger flock of sheep acts to anchor the center and to lead our eye back around to the other details.  Behind the flock, on the right, a woman stands by the tents in which the herders live, while following their flock around the mountains, and the details include laundry strung up on lines of rope.  There are cattle resting in front and more sheep to the side, and in the far background at the base of the mountain, on the left, is the remainder of the herd.  In sum, it is a wonderful painting and shows the potential of this young artist who we discovered at a recent art event.  We believe this this artist's work has great potential for appreciation, as he is gifted, yet relatively undiscovered.

  $1,200   46x62 cm
"Returning Home":l painting by Dapu 177. Returning Home: original oil painting on canvas by Dapu (Ai Min Zhang) 2007

This is a wonderful scene of a mother and child returning home at the end of the day.  We see them just about to round the corner among ruined buildings and walls in this old rural town, on the border between China's Qinghai province and Tibet.  We can imagine that it is a bright sunny day, in this mountainous region on the back side of the Himalayas, since we see brightly lit building facades.  It appears to be the fall since the trees are bare, and there is an old bird's nest atop the large tree in the foreground.  We can also imagine the harshness of the environment, as buildings and walls are ruined, yet still in use.  This painting is representative of Dapu's art, and he likes it so much that he has put it on the front of a brochure depicting his work, chronicling life in the high-mountain region around northern Tibet, over the last decade.  Even though his mentor, the famous painter-philosopher  Zheng Tian Li has tried to convince him to return to the big city and to produce art that is more in line with that which is commercially popular among certain Chinese art collectors, Dapu has chosen to be true to himself and to remain in that isolated region of the world to capture its beauty, in paintings for those of us who appreciate good art, not commercial drivel.  It is a reason that this fine artist has remained relatively undiscovered except by a few collectors from the mainland and Taiwan and by a few galleries, including ours and one in Shanghai.  We appreciate his sacrifice, his genuineness, and the beautiful art that he brings us, and we hope that you will, too.

  $1,800   80x65cm  
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