In the 1980s, a new art scene grew up with the appearance of a group of realist painters with nationalistic, cultural and nativist orientations, Chen Danqing was one of the outstanding proponents of native realism. Chen Danqing's "Tibetan Series" represents this ideological trend and phenomenon, setting a significant milestone in twentieth century Chinese Art. While Walking into Town and Lhasa Market and the others presented by Christie's Spring 2009 Auction have caused widespread repercussions, Man with White Scarf (Lot 1374), Lhasa under the Bright Sky (Lot 1371), Tibetan on the Street (Lot 1372), and Man with Red Scarf (Lot 1373) are aimed to provide a profound understandings of this series.
Man with White Scarf is modeled in carefree brushwork to portray an ordinary modest young man. Lhasa under the Bright Sky vividly depicts the unfeigned and natural faces of Tibetan streets, with a great contrast of light and shadows under the burning sun. Tibetan on the Street has two to three rows of Tibetan protagonists who either walk or sit randomly on the street; the figures are grouped naturally, presenting a simple composition without too much emphasis on one-point perspective. Man with Red Scarf portrays a man of piercing eyes; abandoning the embellishment and glorification of a heroic figure, and instead depicting a modest and natural face, Chen allows us to feel the robust life energy and optimistic character. Chen grasps the scenery of existential observation and through Realism captures profound sentiments and spiritual power. He has truly achieved what he said, "My biggest aspiration is that audiences are naturally touched by the naturalistic depiction and humanistic sentiments of my work, and can feel 'This is life. This is human."