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KUM CHI KEUNG (Chinese, B. 1965)
KUM CHI KEUNG (Chinese, B. 1965)

Big Bird

Details
KUM CHI KEUNG (Chinese, B. 1965)
Big Bird
signed in Chinese; dated '2012'; numbered 'ed. 4/5' (inside)
bamboo, metal sculpture
sculpture size: 43 x 77 x 79 cm. (16 7/8 x 30 3/8 x 31 1/8 in.); stand size: 129 x 30 x 87 cm. (50 3/4 x 11 3/4 x 34 1/4 in.)
edition 4/5
Executed in 2012
Provenance
Private Collection, Asia
Exhibited
(different edition exhibited)
Hagen, Germany, Osthaus Museum, China 8, 15 May-13 September, 2015.

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Eric Chang
Eric Chang

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Lot Essay

Kum Chi Keung created his first installation work with bird cages in 1995. Since then, this folk object has become an iconic symbol in his art. The artist has expressed that it is his tendency to favour order and regularity. The concise and methodical lines found in the structure of the bird cage precisely satisfy his visual aesthetics. Through the assembly of the installation, the minuscule bamboo cages become a new entity that asserts its own space. The irony is that its repetitive nature satirises the endless production of capitalism. The extreme density of this work speaks of the claustrophobia in a cosmopolitan city and its complex relationship between the individual and the collective society. Big Bird (Lot 175) was selected to participate in the 2015 China 8 exhibition in Germany. Following the concept and form of the bird cage installation and executed with precision design and superb craftsmanship, Kum Chi Keung brought to life a bamboo bird that is spreading its wings. Through the conventionally accepted relationship between bird and cage, the artist is articulating a paradoxical concept: the purpose of the cage is to keep a bird in captivity, yet the material of the cage has become the body of the bird. The bird has transcended beyond confinement and becomes a symbol of freedom, yet it still bears the features of the cage-the capability of imprisoning others. Kum Chi Keung's profound design enables to viewer to reflection and wander between the opposing symbols of bird and cage-it is a thought-provoking re-examination of the multiplicity of meanings.

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