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  • Press release
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  • Hong Kong
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  • For immediate release
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  • 17 September 2020

MEDIA ALERT | Christie’s Proudly Unveils An Epoch-Defining Painting by Zhang Xiaogang

Debuted at the 1995 Venice Biennale

A Milestone in the History of Contemporary Chinese Art

ZHANG XIAOGANG (B. 1958)

Bloodline: Big Family No. 2

oil on canvas

180 x 230 cm. (71 x 90 1/2 in.)

Painted in 1995

HK$38,000,000 - 48,000,000 / US$5,000,000 – 6,000,000

Hong Kong – On 2 December, Christie’s will offer Zhang Xiaogang’s groundbreaking work: Bloodline: Big Family No. 2 (estimated at HKD 38,000,000 - 48,000,000) as a leading highlight of the Modern and Contemporary Art Evening Sale in Hong Kong.

An Artwork of Monumental Significance:

Bloodline: Big Family No. 2 is one of the most important paintings in the history of Chinese contemporary art. It was first publicly exhibited during the 46th Venice Biennale in 1995, where it created a stir in the global art scene by heralding the rise of a new wave of Chinese art. The work marked a milestone not only in the artist’s career, but also in the global history of contemporary art.

 
- The work is an masterful example of the artist’s Bloodline: Big Family Series, Zhang’s most iconic body of work. Inspired by old family photographs, the series is defined by a distinctive painting style inspired by old photographs, capturing the nuanced emotions, familial bonds and collective memories of an important era in China’s history.

- Zhang Xiaogang completed only five monumental works of this size (180 x 230 cm.) in his most mature period, the period in which he produced the most mature and sought-after examples of his Bloodline series.

- Among the five paintings in this size, only two portray “one-child families”: the present work, and Bloodline: Big Family No. 3, which holds the current world auction record for the artist.

- A rare large format example of a single-child family – a reference to China’s historic one-child policy. The painting also includes a depiction of an “intellectual youth” (zhiqing), reflecting the artist’s personal history as well as an important epoch in China’s modern era.

- This painting was featured on the front cover of the international edition of Lu Peng’s A History of Art in 20th-Century China in 2013, emphasizing the work’s art historical significance.

- The painting was featured in several important international exhibitions, including the 46th Venice Biennale, and Inside Out: New Chinese Art, one of the first exhibitions dedicated to Chinese contemporary art presented in North America, that debuted at MoMA PS1 in New York and then traveled to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art from 1998 to 1999.

Zhang Xiaogang holding his new-born daughter in front of the current lot, 1995.Photo: Courtesy Sichuan Fine Arts Publishing House, Zhang Xiaogang: Works, Literature and Research, 1981-2014,Published in 2016

Zhang Xiaogang holding his new-born daughter in front of the current lot, 1995.

Photo: Courtesy Sichuan Fine Arts Publishing House, Zhang Xiaogang: Works, Literature and Research, 1981-2014,

Published in 2016

Lu Peng, A History of Art in 20th Century China, CoverPhoto: Courtesy Somogy edition d’art (Paris, France), A History of Art in 20th-Century China, Published in 2013

Lu Peng, A History of Art in 20th Century China, Cover

Photo: Courtesy Somogy edition d’art (Paris, France), A History of Art in 20th-Century China, Published in 2013

About Christie’s

Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had auction sales in 2019 that totalled £4.5 billion / $5.8 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.

Alongside regular sales online, Christie’s has a global presence in 46 countries, with 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.