Faces of New China: An Important Private Collection
Christie’s Hong Kong proudly presents “Faces of New China: An Important Private Collection” to be offered Autumn 2011, a featured single owner evening auction. that is comprised of fourteen exceptional works of contemporary Chinese art, highlighted by works from Zhang Xiaogang, Yue Minjun, Cai Guoqiang, Liu Ye and Tang Zhigang. Representing the pinnacle of the earliest years of Chinese avant-garde art, these exquisite pieces epitomize the moment when these artists established their creative paths and idiosyncratic styles, vividly showcasing the conceptual origins of one of the most astonishing cultural and aesthetic shifts in recent art history.
This iPad application allows you to browse works, associated scholarly written essays, timelines of individual artists and landmark exhibitions of Chinese Contemporary Art.
Each work from “Faces of New China” helps elucidate the core aspects of Chinese avant-garde art. Through their unique modes of representation and, in particular, attention to self-portraiture and portraiture, they have visualized not only an epoch and the changes within it, but also the lived experience of individuals in a manner that reflects the life and mind of the “New China” generation. As these artists scrutinized the place of the individual against a particular historical background, they have produced a collective self-portrait, one that mirrors the mentality of a generation living ordinarily as individuals and, at the same time, existing under the expeditious metamorphosis of their country as a whole.
These works represent the characteristics of China in a particular space and time, thereby becoming the faces of an era. In masterworks such as Zhang Xiaogang’s “Portrait in Yellow”, Yue Minjun’s “Portrait of the Artist and His Friends”, or Liu Ye’s “The Happy Family”, we see how portraiture became a genre through which to explore both traditional Chinese aesthetical forms, while also being equally reactive to modern Western styles of expression. Drawing from diverse strains of tradition and modernity, these intrepid artists hunt for unique expressive forms that are at once firmly rooted in Chinese culture and highly responsive to a new era. Their works, then, also reveal the appeal of Chinese contemporary art internationally. The works of these artists – variously delicate, haunting, satirical and explosive – offer us direct insight into an extraordinary epoch, as well as the ways in which these artists discovered new terrain between the traditions of Western and Eastern art.