• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2605

    Asian Contemporary Art (Day Sale)

    25 May 2008, Hong Kong

  • Lot 474


    Price Realised  


    (Born in 1962)
    Polychrome Ceramic Series
    porcelain sculpture
    71 x 71 x 26.5 cm. (28 x 28 x 10 ? in.)
    Executed in 2002

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    In recent years, the Chinese economy has developed in stride, meanwhile people's lifestyles have undergone a big change compared with the past. However, I doubt it the inner world of individuals has proceeded in such a pace. There are many unstable elements in our society, which will be exposed through different restriction of conduct, and all disharmonious scenes are possible in different social environments. Superficial beauty is not able to conceal the loneliness and frailty of the heart. Actually, we are all living in an unstable, insecure and highly sensitive materialistic world.

    -Liu Jianhua

    Liu Jianhua was amongst the first contemporary Chinese artists to use sculpture as means to present conceptual art. During the mid to late 1990's these artists began to bring elements of pop art into their works; it was through the resultant pictorial sculptures that they were able to communicate to the world their own questioning of modern day values.

    In consequence to the rapid modernisation that occurred in China during the 1990's, came massive social and cultural change. With the globalisation of China's economic and social structures, popular culture, alongside commercialism and consumerism, had became an established part of everyday life, providing impetuous for a questioning of identity with particular reference to issues of culture. Works produced artists today, address these issues and resonate with a similar message.

    In Liu's Polychrome Ceramic Series- Game (Lot 473, 474) women, a metaphor for consumerism and materialistic expectation, lie seductively on richly ornamented plates, clothed in a modern-style qipao dress. Their provocative position and exposed thighs are juxtaposed with the traditionally patterned plates upon which they are served. By omitting the women's heads, arms and legs, Liu distances us further from the woman's individual story and identity, strengthening the emblematic significance of her arresting form.