• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2707

    Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sale)

    25 May 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1091


    Price Realised  


    (b. 1975)
    oil on canvas
    150 x 200 cm. (59 x 78 3/4 in.)
    Painted in 2006

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    The New Privileged Class of China
    On the vast virtual historical stage, several members of the new privileged class of China, are pointing at a book. Though they put on different postures, their faces share a serious expression. Just like the famous debate among a thousand Buddhas, they are seeking The Truth. The book in the painting is the centre of attention. In fact, the symbols of 'book', and 'pen', are very often employed in Guan's work, as a symbolic representation of intelligentsia and rank. They also symbolize the writer as of a cultural, historical and ideological construct.

    The rapid transformation of China has not only determined the rapid, extraordinary, and even legendary formation of a new privileged class in contemporary China, but also resulted in a great culture clash and an enormous impact on the Chinese mentality and value system, putting the new privileged class in a confused and perplexed state. The painting seems to show them in a vigorous attempt to find The Truth, by questioning and studying, so as to put an end to confusion. This piece of artwork reflects the realistic being of the new privileged class in contemporary Chinese society, demonstrating the painter's reflection on the values and historical responsibilities which the privileged should have.