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MAO XUHUI (Chinese, B. 1956)
MAO XUHUI (Chinese, B. 1956)

Daily Epic: Back-chair and Key

Details
MAO XUHUI (Chinese, B. 1956)
Daily Epic: Back-chair and Key
dated '1994.10.'; signed in Chinese (lower right)
oil on canvas
179 x 149 cm. (70 1/2 x 58 5/8 in.)
Painted in 1994
Provenance
Private Collection, Asia
Literature
Shanghai People's Fine Arts Publishing House, Red Bridge Gallery, Road: Mao Xuhui's Drawing Course, Shanghai, China, 2008 (illustrated, p. 234).

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Lot Essay

"MY CREATION RELIES ON MY INNER POWER. MY INTERNAL WORLD IS ALWAYS INTERCONNECTED WITH THE EXTERNAL ONE." - MAO XUHUI
After 1993, Mao Xuhui turned his attention to elements of everyday objects. The Daily Epic series can be his desire to find beauty and spiritual refinement in his own world, linked between the preceding and the entailing. In Daily Epic: Backchair and Key (Lot 106), the chair, key, a pair of scissors, sports shoe, bottle, cigarettes and pills, are all symbols of quotidian and tangible objects, which can be substituted, dispersed and accumulated. The oblique lines and expressive brushstrokes, the alternate use of grey and white create claustrophobic tension. The balance of routine is shattered and normality annulled, suggesting the omnipresence of power. His use of highly metaphorical imagery liberates them from their traditional purpose, allowing them to become a symbol within the realm of the painting. Being in a dramatic settings, or in abstracted, contrasting background makes the objects interchangeable. The literal significance of the objects is purposefully eliminated in favour of the overall feeling that the artist seeks to convey. By choosing objects that has a clearly defined image and universal validity, complex ideas and ambiguous feelings can be generated when this object is placed in an unusual context - even to a level of religious significance: Just as religious icons attain potency from our concentration on their forms, but are worshipped beyond their material functions, the ordinary household scissors become, in the art of Mao Xuhui, a symbol of iconic transcendence that goes far beyond their habitual function. The objects become independent and self-sufficient. The metaphysical and uninhibited features of the objects are exposed in their reality.

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