• Chinese 20th Century Art (Day  auction at Christies

    Sale 2725

    Chinese 20th Century Art (Day Sale)

    30 November 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1375

    LUO ZHONGLI

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    LUO ZHONGLI
    (b. 1948)
    Miao Lady
    signed 'luo zhongli' in Pinyin; signed in Chinese; dated '1988.6' (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    99.1 x 76 cm. (39 x 30 in.)
    Painted in 1988


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    By 1978, China was entering a period of reforms, and artists began to reflect on issues they had previously been unwilling or unable to discuss openly. Oil painting became a means of engaging in rational discourse rather than a tool of political propaganda as it had been in the past. Thus in the 1980s a new art scene emerged, dominated by a group of realist painters with nationalistic, cultural, and nativist orientations. The Sichuan schools arose during this period; Luo Zhongli was an outstanding proponent of native realism. Following the Home Series-Early Spring of Daba Mountain, Luo Zhongli turned from the absolute realistic depiction of human figures to the real experiences of daily life, and from displaying the life of the farmers to exploring the cultural ideology of a nation.

    In 1983, Luo departed for Europe and spent three years there. He strongly sensed that being a Chinese oil painter, his work must have a strong oriental spirit, and the language of painting must be localized or even endowed with folk traditions. Moreover, the subject matter must be escalated to reach the level of common human nature and meaning of life. All these requirements are vividly exhibited in Miao Lady (Lot 1375) created in 1988. Depicting a Miao lady wearing traditional costume, the artist places the figure in the centre of the painting-not opting for embellishments or glorification as found in the traditional portraits-to illustrate the strong body as well as the robust energy of life. As he said, "Their state of living and behavioral styles possess not only local flavor but also is a 'miniature' of China's existing villages. This original ecology needs to be recorded in time, otherwise it will lose." Miao Lady has showcased the artist's abundant sentiments of the homeland. He transformed the reflection of reality into visual art, and his work is the record of past-decade changes in life of Daba Mountain's peasants.


    Provenance

    Signet Fine Art, Chicago
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1992


    Literature

    Signet Fine Art, New Era in Chinese Painting, Spring 1989 issue, Chicago, USA, 1989 (illustrated, p. 1).