On the afternoon of December 3rd, a special calligraphy and painting charity event (an auction) was being held at the Zhuhai Shengyuan Art Museum on Lovers Road in Zhuhai, China. Calligrapher Liu Leiyin, courtesy name Fangshi, was a director of the Chinese Painting and Calligraphy Art Association after Liu Yong, a famous prime minister in the Qing Dynasty; Li Xiang, a painter, is an expert in reproducing and restoring ancient paintings who worked in the Palace Museum for 40 years.
The two are the same age, 64 years old. 77 paintings and calligraphy works, the auction proceeds will directly go to the account of the Municipal Red Cross Society to support the four public welfare projects of the Municipal Red Cross Society: Relief for scattered orphans, water rehabilitation for children with cerebral palsy, music rehabilitation for children with autism, and Red Cross spiritual dissemination.
As a painter, Li Xiang’s name is not very popular in the country, but her popularity in the “inner circle” is very high: think about it, the famous paintings collected by the Forbidden City in the past are usually not exhibited, and usually, only imitations are exhibited, and Li Xiang is a member of the Forbidden City. The experts in the main copying room must have a solid foundation. Some people jokingly call people like her “big inner masters” who “deeply hide their identity and fame”.
Sure enough, in the 1980s, Li Xiang caused a sensation in the domestic art circles and Redology academic circles. It took her 5 years to complete the “Dream of the Red Chamber“, drawing 413 characters of the Dream of Red Mansions. Li Xiang is also one of the top painters in the field of Chinese Buddhist figure painting and has been appreciated by masters including Qi Gong.
In order to find someone to write inscriptions on her paintings, Li Xiang used her eyes to look through the famous calligraphers of the past dynasties and found Fang Shi.
Before the auction, the reporter interviewed Li Xiang and Fang Shi in advance. According to their introduction, first of all, Fang Shi came into contact with Zhuhai Red Cross Society by chance through friends and learned about the work content of the Red Cross Society through a WeChat public account. He was very moved and interested. Li Xiang, who lives in the United States, discussed that she wanted to auction off her paintings and calligraphy to fund the Red Cross project.
Li Xiang said that she was a little hesitant at first because she had heard negative information about some other Red Cross organizations. So Fang Shi invited her to visit the Red Cross Society in Zhuhai.
Talking about what they saw and heard in Zhuhai and what they were moved, both Li Xiang and Fang Shi said, “There are too many details to count.” For example, they were discussing the art exhibition and auction with the staff of the Municipal Red Cross Society when they suddenly saw a 93-year-old lady, Aunt Hong, come in to donate 5,800 yuan.
Hearing that Aunt Hong was still a volunteer of the Red Cross Society and that she would donate the money she had saved to the Red Cross Society every once in a while, Li Xiang was very excited when she heard that, and said, “I want to give her a painting”, and immediately went back to her residence, In with passion, I drew an 8-square-foot birthday picture in one day and one night.
Li Xiang dislikes talking about paintings with money, “This man is a great painter, let’s first talk about how much his paintings cost per square foot, this is a corrupt culture.” Therefore, before the auction, she and Fang Shi expected 300,000 yuan, but they did not expect that most of the works had purchase intentions before the auction, which means at least 800,000 yuan. This made Li Xiang very emotional: Some people made the purchase without even looking at the work, which shows that they are really keen on the Zhuhai Red Cross Society.
The auction was a success, and those who had the intention to purchase came to raise their cards. Among them, a set of 12 “Dream of Red Mansions Jinling Twelve Beauties” was bought by a collector from Shenzhen for 360,000 yuan. In the end, a total of 73 calligraphy and painting works were auctioned off, with a donation of 997,100 yuan. In addition, Zhuhai Jiaxin Auction Co., Ltd. will donate all commissions from this auction to the Municipal Red Cross Society.
Aunt Hong, who was dressed as a volunteer, also came to the auction site. She raised her cards twice and bought two pieces of calligraphy with the 5,800 yuan she planned to donate. During the intermission of the auction, Li Xiang sent the framed picture of the birthday star to Aunt Hong. See below.
Li Xiang said that the starting prices of these paintings and calligraphy are far lower than the market price, but this is not important. She is very happy to think that the money can be used for those in need.
In fact, there are still some people who will be very happy, and that is the project volunteers supported by the “Liu Leiyin and Li Xiang Public Welfare Special Fund”. The reporter recently interviewed Lin Baorong, a volunteer of the Municipal Red Cross Professional Water Emergency Rescue Squadron. He said that water rehabilitation for children with cerebral palsy has obvious effects on the children, but he is very worried about insufficient funds. He can only take 5 children in the first phase. Funding for at least the next year is now guaranteed.
Behind the Scenes
Xiang Li engaged with visitors from the Southern provinces of China.
Originally published by The Red Cross Society of Zhuhai in Mandarin Chinese, translated using Google Translator.