Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2015.146
People
Zeng Youhe [Tseng Yu-ho], Chinese (Beijing, China born 1925)
Title
Untitled
Classification
Paintings
Work Type
album leaf, painting
Date
probably 1980s
Culture
Chinese
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/319243
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Ink, color, and foil on paperboard, with artist’s signature and seal
Dimensions
painting proper: 28.5 x 25 cm (11 1/4 x 9 13/16 in.)
Framed: 51.12 x 44.77 x 2.54 cm (20 1/8 x 17 5/8 x 1 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: Lower right, black ink: He (Chinese brush-written characters, with red seal impressed on top, reading "Zeng Youhe Yin")
  • seal: artist's seal: Square red intaglio seal, lower right corner (impressed over signature): "Zeng Youhe yin"
  • inscription: brush-written in lower right of painting: Signed: "He"
Provenance
Zeng Youhe, Honolulu, probably 1980s, gift; to Chu-tsing Li, Lawrence, Kansas (1964-2012), gift; to his son B U.K. Li, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (2012-2015), gift; to Harvard Art Museums, 2015.

Footnotes:
1. Dr. Chu-tsing Li (1920-2014)

Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, The Chu-tsing Li Collection, Gift of B U.K. Li in memory of Chu-tsing Li, Yao-wen Kwang Li, and Teri Ho Li
Accession Year
2015
Object Number
2015.146
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
A compelling contrast with Zeng’s Landscape of the same period, this work offers no overt suggestion of receding space. The foil, pigments, and ink present an abstract pattern that, though faintly geometric, avoids any fixed grid. Still, viewers may visualize landscape forms as their eyes fix on the surface textures of this exquisite work.
After leaving China to settle in Honolulu, Zeng Youhe developed a distinctive technique she called dsui (pinyin zhui, meaning “patch” or “patchwork”) painting, inspired in part by traditional techniques for mounting Chinese works.
Like other artists in Asia as well as Europe and America, she used this collage approach to explore surface effects in abstract compositions. Regarding her renderings of colors and textures, she cited as a source the irregular coloration of ancient jades, and guan ware, a ceramic with a crackled pale-bluish-gray glaze.
Publication History

Robert D. Mowry and Claudia Brown, A Tradition Redefined: Modern and Contemporary Chinese Ink Paintings from the Chu-tsing Li Collection, 1950-2000, exh. cat., Harvard University Art Museums/Yale University Press (Cambridge, Mass., 2007), cat. 7

Exhibition History

A Tradition Redefined: Modern and Contemporary Chinese Ink Paintings from the Chu-tsing Li Collection, 1950-2000, Harvard University Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 11/03/2007 - 01/27/2008; Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, 06/28/2008 - 09/14/2008; Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, 10/11/2008 - 01/04/2009; Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, 02/11/2009 - 05/24/2009

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu