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Don Hong-Oai (Chinese, 1929–2004)
LOT ID: 70222
Playing with Hoops, Vietnam, 1976

Silver Print
15.25 х 19 in. (38.74 x 48.26 cm.)
Signed, in Chinese calligraphy, upper right; and stamped, lower left
Lot description
Drawn to the traditional Chinese landscape painting, photographer Don Hong-Oai (1929-2004) sought to expand on the classical motifs and fuse the realism of photography with the emotional impact of the dramatic nature paintings through a technique known as Asian Pictorialism. By layering photographic negatives to establish an acute sense of depth, Hong-Oai elevated the look and feel of his images. As demonstrated in this 1976 toned silver print, ‘Playing with Hoops, Vietman’, Hong-Oai focused his work on the spectacular Asian landscape, sometimes with vague figures, in keeping with the scenes conventionally illustrated. With the addition of his own stamped seal and Chinese calligraphy, Hong-Oai further emulates the traditional style.

This work is framed and measures 23.5 x 27 inches.

The work of Chinese photographer Don Hong-Oai (1929-2004) combines Western techniques with Eastern aesthetics in a genre coined Asian Pictorialism. Born in China, Hong-Oai was raised in Vietnam, where he attended Vietnam University College of Art in 1950 and later taught photography. Working as a photographer for the Red Cross, Hong-Oai travelled the globe and eventually settled in San Francisco, CA in 1979. Focusing his work on the development of Asian imagery within the United States, Hong-Oai was drawn to the Asian Pictorialism style that uses multiple negatives to create a sensation similar to traditional Asian painting. For his work, Hong-Oai has been honored by Kodak, Ilford, and the Fotokina Professional Society in Germany. He was also a member of the International Federation of Photographic Art, Switzerland and San Francisco’s Chinatown Photographic Society. His work has appeared in solo exhibitions at Mumm’s, Napa, CA (2000); Hewlett-Packard, Palo Alto, CA (2000); Gallery 71, New York, NY (1998); and Photos Gallery, San Francisco, CA (1994).

Selected Public Collections:

California International Center of Photography, New York, NY
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA
The Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, CA
Playing with Hoops, Vietnam by Don Hong-Oai
  • Playing with Hoops, Vietnam by Don Hong-Oai
  • Playing with Hoops, Vietnam by Don Hong-Oai
  • Playing with Hoops, Vietnam by Don Hong-Oai
  • Playing with Hoops, Vietnam by Don Hong-Oai
  • Playing with Hoops, Vietnam by Don Hong-Oai
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Sales Results for Comparable Works

  • Don Hong-Oai

    Untitled (Sandstorm Vietnam)
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  • Don Hong-Oai

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  • Don Hong-Oai

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  • Don Hong-Oai

    At play, Tianzi Mountain
    sepia-toned gelatin silver print
    (H 20, W 16) in.
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  • Don Hong-Oai

    Sandstorm, Vietnam
    gelatin silver print
    (H 10.8, W 13.8) in.
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    Wednesday, May 16, 2007
    Artcurial – Briest - Le Fur - Poulain - F.Tajan
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  • Don Hong-Oai

    Going up the river, Vietnam
    gelatin silver print
    (H 10.8, W 13.8) in.
    (27.5 x 35) cm.
    Sold for: US$3,356
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