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Hongtao Tu (b. 1976)
Hongtao Tu (b. 1976)

Overlooking the Turbulent Clouds

Details
Hongtao Tu (b. 1976)
Overlooking the Turbulent Clouds
The artwork is accompanied with a certificate issued by the artist's studio.

oil on canvas
150 x 210 cm. (59 x 82 5/8 in.)
Painted in 2011
Literature
Iberia Center for Contemporary Art, Tu Hongtao: The Desire of Plants, Beijing, China, 2011 (illustreated, pp. 64-65).
Hive Center For Contemporary Art, The Road Not Taken: Tu Hongtao, Beijing, China, 2013 (illustreated, p. 144).

Exhibited
Beijing, China, Iberia Center for Contemporary Art, Tu Hongtao: The Desire of the Plants, 2011.

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Eric Chang
Eric Chang

Lot Essay

Chinese new-generation artist Tu Hongtao rebelliously flings aside existing art forms and fuses subjective consciousness with spiritual strokes and a new perspective to experience the reality of society and transform this into a creative force. Sloughing off the past, with its 'dolls' as themes, his gorgeously decadent visual symbols reveal his private nook to external audiences. In his plant series, by depicting infinite permutations and by superimposing plants floating in mid-air, he allegorises people embroiled in soul-searing and struggle over meretricious vanity.
Overlooking Turbulent Clouds (Lot 107) concentrates on the use of strokes and colour performance, which Tu Hongtao staggers and mingles with wildly boundless and blurred strokes that express the painter's sense of entanglement and confusion vis--vis contemporary society. Cool, blue tones nonetheless hold 'the colour of life' because of the plant set in the foreground, which brings the uncertain picture into sudden stability, and the plant's desire to grow becomes the anchor of the picture's stability-a trace of reliability lurking within instability-thus, striking a balance between the dynamic and the static. The expressive form is akin to that of British landscap painter John Constable in Old Sarum, where the foreground positioning of shepherds and their flocks subtly leads viewers to detach their gaze from the winds of change in the background, and return it to the more lifelike concept in the near foreground. Just as in China's 'natural law', Tu Hongtao causes a little scene to turn to a big one, using abstract forms to separate space to construct an open structure that extends the spiritual space of the accompanying individual figures, ultimately rendering the drifting relationship between objects in the painting and the ambit of their spiritual vision less restrained.
Tu Hongtao's corresponding philosophical dialogue between Western landscape art and Oriental celestial beings affords viewers a highly sensory experience and immersion in erroneous but complex magnificent scenery, while feeling the dynamic tension of all things in flux. Dismantled images establish meaning as Tu Hongtao turns painting language into an abstraction, which highlights the purity of art and skips over the viewer's fixed point of logic, to interplay between what is similar and dissimilar to Chinese aesthetics.

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