• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2605

    Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sale)

    25 May 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 417


    Price Realised  


    (Born in 1962)
    The Fairy Tale of Shui-Nan Cave
    signed and dated 'Lien Chien-Hsing; 1998' in Chinese (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    97 x 194 cm. (38 x 76 1/4 in.)
    Painted in 1998

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    The art of Lien Chien-Hsing is heavy with nostalgia and an imbued sense of whimsical imagination. The artist often draws upon the depths of his imagination for his work, gaining inspiration the recollection of his childhood images. His works subtly reveal a sense of nostalgia, a scene that is often immune to the constraints of time or space. Combined with a subconscious, mysterious air Lien's works permeate into a unique realm of magical realism.

    The Endless Game (Lot 418), created in 1993, depicts a striking vista of quixotic splendour. In this composition we find two young boys playing within the confines of a smooth circular boundary. Beyond the circle lies a derelict ruin, tattered with rusting objects and stone, yet the overall scene is still somehow graceful unsullied; the circular realm has been neatly brushed clean of the debris, as the two young boys - one on a bicycle, the other chasing - revolve around in a seemingly perpetual game. The calm, blue ocean creates a serene background to the work and the upright animal skeleton - possibly a rhinoceros of form or an imaginary creature - adds an illusory smattering to the composition.

    In The Fairy Tale of Shui-Nan Cave (Lot 417), painted in 1998, Lien creates an aura of fantasia. The secluded and seemingly deserted vista portrays an architectural wonder of cool, dark, circular ponds within an impossibly immaculate compound. Flawless stone blends with the green of nature and we witness a scene of nature and technology in utopian harmony within an indiscernible overall structure. Two figures are discernibly visible within the dreamscape; that of a young male figure, striding or running towards the descending staircase and a small cat sitting peacefully by the edge of the foreground pond. The subtle placement of a monstrous head emerging from the calm of the water indicates a darker side beneath the serenity. Ebbed by the lapping shore, the work presents a surreal scene via Lien's gifted talent in superb realism.


    Solo Exhibition of Lien Chien-Hsing, exh. cat., Eslite Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan, 1998, pp. 20-21. (illustrated)


    Taiwan, Taipei, Eslite Gallery, Solo Exhibition of Lien Chien-Hsing, 1998