Remembrance in a Cup of Tea
collage and gouache mounted on Masonite
Each panel inscribed verso "Remembrance in a Cup of Tea" Tseng Y-ho / 1962 / Honolulu; panel A signed and stamped, l.l.
each: 48 x 24 in.
Provenance: By descent through a son of John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
Other Notes: Tseng Yu-Ho was born into a wealthy family in China and studied classical Chinese painting from an early age. She became an art historian as well as an artist, and ultimately married a fellow art historian, the German/American scholar Gustave Ecke. Together they moved to Honolulu in 1949, where Tseng continued to develop and refine her unique artmaking process. In 1959, she received a Rockefeller Foundation Scholarship to study art collections in the United States, and in 1972, she completed her PhD in art history at New York University.
The present work serves as an informative and compelling example of the dsui hua paintings for which Tseng Yu-Ho was best known. She developed the style, which translates literally to "assembled paintings," over the course of the 1950s and 60s, drawing on her background in traditional Chinese landscape and calligraphy painting. These dsui mixed media works are collages, comprised of thin layers of paper, torn at random to create a framework of shapes that are further brought together by ink drawing and metallic paint. The overlapping layers of paper together with carefully applied ink and color come together to create an abstracted yet harmonious landscape, and Tseng's dsui paintings are considered to be a key moment in Chinese landscape painting of the twentieth century.