TANG ZHIGANG
TANG ZHIGANG

(Chinese, B. 1959)

Details
TANG ZHIGANG
(Chinese, B. 1959)
Children in Meeting Series
signed 'Tang' in Pinyin; dated '2000' (lower right)
oil on canvas
80.7 x 100.7 cm. (31 3/4 x 39 1/2 in.)
Painted in 2000
Provenance
Schoeni Art Gallery, Hong Kong, China
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Sale room notice
Lot 441 has been withdrawn from sale

Brought to you by

Eric Chang
Eric Chang

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Lot Essay

Tang Zhigang's awareness insight into the symmetry of children's behavior and adult folly between children's behavior and adult repartee inspired his iconic Children in Meeting series, where in which children dressed in green military uniform struggle to comport themselves to the civilized task of are portrayed as adults who struggle to compose themselves while "attending a meetings." The present lot, Children in Meeting (Lot 441), depicts the monotonous bureaucratic life of two attendees seated at a table against curtains which frame the banal regimented scene. Tang caricaturizes the setting with the children's exaggeratedly solemn expressions and postures to suggest the guarded and trifle trite ways adults compete for power. A third child peeks playfully from behind the curtain, derailing the seriousness of their performance, and thereby revealing the ways in which the affectation of politics and power is little more than presently similar to child's play and the ways in which adulthood is an everyday performance. Tang, who taught children art while he was in the army, observed that attending the meetings of adult life was no different from watching children in a classroom. He has stated, "Apart from preparing the setting for all kinds of meetings, writing slogans and taking pictures, I was also responsible for the Art Education of the children in the army. So while the adults were 'in meeting,' their children were raising their hands to answer my questions. It is easy to associate the two scenes." Tang evokes the elements of childish, commonly masked mannerism often seen in daily adult interaction, a facetious commentary of political life and adult behavior, and the hanging banners and bright red tablecloth serves as a clever apparatus to satirize a political era. By using children as his central figures, Tang effectively approaches a sensitive subject matter through a guise of humor and flippancy child's play.
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