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    Sale 2605

    Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sale)

    25 May 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 375


    Price Realised  


    (Born in 1957)
    The War at Balcony
    signed and dated 'Chen-yu; 92' in Chinese (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    146 x 112 cm. (57 1/2 x 44 in.)
    Painted in 1992

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    After a long dialectical process, my personal system of aesthetics began to take shape, but as an organically evolving system and not a hard, empty shell of theory. I say this not to avoid responsibility, but to preserve some freedom of the spirit and respect for real knowledge and wisdom. Realism and Neo-Humanism are the two main pillars of my aesthetics. 'Truth' is the first and foremost subject of my life and my art; I grew up in a religious family, and I was always plagued by ideads about what is true and what is not. While I never actually saw any angels, they still felt more real to me than many things in physical reality. During my youth I was stuffed full of white lies, but I was also encouraged to make the pursuit of truth my lifelong goal. So for me, 'truth' is not just a product of philosophical thought; truth is the scarred and bloody product of a long search and teh evolution of my own consciousness. That search has been a bitter and a lonely one, and I've paid a high price for it. But to me it's as sweet as honey.

    Any real 'local consciousness' should be the reaction of a free individual, concerned with their surrounding environment and facing reality with a spirit of humanity. The avant-garde spirit means being free and autonomous, facing the truth of your surrounding social environment and rebelling against the stagnant order of things without fear of isolation or hardship.

    -Chang Chen-Yu

    Chang's Revolution of Esthetics (Lot 376) and The War at Balcony (Lot 375), dating from 1991 and 1992 respectively, are the artist's finest works on the themes of truth and humanistic awareness. in Revolution of Esthetics, Chang's subject and its structuring together reveal a nakedly direct vision, as the artist takes the meausre of the traditionally defended aesthetic morality and his own role as an artist in challenging its authority. In he War at Balcony
    , the artist's surreal, dreamlike depiction suggests much about the shadows cast over Taiwanese society by the historical February 28th incident and the restrictions on artistic endeavors in that society. The slightly later Your Quarrels and My Traumas (Lot 377) is a telling and incisive examination of inner personal conflicts and contradictions.


    Taipei, Taiwan, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Chen-Yu Chang Retrospect on Neo-Humanism 1975-1994, 9 April - 8 May, 1994.


    Chen-Yu Chang Restrospect on Neo-Humanism 1975-1994, exh. cat., Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan, 1994, plate 39. (illustrated)