Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art

April 1520, 2023
Auction begins to close at 2:00 pm ET

Online Auction
LOT 64

Lot 64

Wei Jia (b. 1957) 韋佳

Wei Jia (b. 1957) 韋佳
Lot 64 Details
Wei Jia (b. 1957) 韋佳, Chinese/American

SU SHI, 2002

oil on canvas
signed and dated lower left; signed, titled and dated verso
52 x 52 in — 132.1 x 132.1 cm

Estimate $20,000-$30,000

Lot Report

Additional Images
Wei Jia (b. 1957) 韋佳
  • Wei Jia (b. 1957) 韋佳
  • Wei Jia (b. 1957) 韋佳
  • Wei Jia (b. 1957) 韋佳
  • Wei Jia (b. 1957) 韋佳
  • Wei Jia (b. 1957) 韋佳

Schmidt Dean Gallery, Philadelphia, PA;
Private Collection, Montreal, QC, acquired from the above


Traditional Chinese history, painting, calligraphy and poetry has long formed the core of Wei Jia’s practice. These traditional arts are then combined with abstract elements. Wei Jia’s emigration to the United States in 1985 introduced themes of cultural displacement, as well as new Western influences.
This painting takes a line from a piece of writing by Chinese poet Su Shi (1037-1101). Su Shi was a major personage in the Song era, known for his roles as a political figure as well as an artist, writer and calligrapher. One of Su Shi’s most well-known works is his “Ode to the Red Cliff 赤壁赋” which remembers the Battle of the Red Cliff in 208 AD. The poem is a meditation on history, human nature and the brevity of life. The work became so famous that the site Su Shi visited became known as “Dongpo’s Red Cliff,” Dongpo being Su Shi’s art name.
The line that Wei Jia excerpts from the poem, “浩浩乎如冯虚御风,而不知其所止;飘飘乎如遗世独 立,羽化而登仙。” translates as “Like a piece of reed, our boat drifted on a boundless expanse of water, so vast that we felt as if we were riding in the wind, not knowing when to come to a halt. We felt so ethereal as if we were ascending into heaven and becoming winged immortal.”
Many traditional paintings have been made of Su Shi’s visit to the Red Cliff, and this work by Wei Jia can be read as a modern, text-based portrait of the famous poet.


Very good overall condition.

LOT 64

About Condition Ratings

  • 5 Stars: Excellent - No discernable damage, flaws or imperfections
  • 4 Stars: Very Good - Minor flaws or imperfections visible only under close inspection using specialised instruments or black light
  • 3 Stars: Good - Minor flaws visible upon inspection under standard lighting
  • 2 Stars: Fair - Exhibits flaws or damage that may draw the eye under standard lighting
  • 1 Star: Poor - Flaws or damage immediately apparent under standard lighting (examples: missing components, rips, broken glass, damaged surfaces, etc.)

Note: Condition ratings and condition details are the subjective opinions of our specialists and should be used as a guide only. Waddington’s uses due care when preparing condition details, however, our staff are not professional restorers or conservators. Condition details and reports are not warranties and each lot is sold “as is” in accordance with the buyer’s terms and conditions of sale. In all cases the prospective purchaser is responsible for inspecting the property themselves prior to placing a bid.