(B. 1963)
Lord of Wind
signed in Chinese; signed 'Li Chen' in Pinyin; numbered '1/8' (engraved on lower back)
bronze sculpture
128.5 x 103 x 187 cm. (50 1/2 x 40 1/2 x 73 5/8 in.)
edition 1/8
Executed in 2008
Asia Art Center, Li Chen: Soul Guardians-In an Age of Disasters and Calamities, Li Chen Solo Exhibition at Beijing 798, Taipei, Taiwan, 2008 (different sized version illustrated, cover, pp. 80-81, 86, 128-133 & 202-203).
Singapore Art Museum, Li Chen: MindDBodyDSpirit, Li Chen Solo Exhibition at Singapore Art Museum, Singapore, 2009 (different sized version illustrated, pp. 55, 73, 110-115 & 181).
Beijing, China, Asia Art Center, Soul Guardians-In an Age of Disasters and Calamities, 2008 (different sized version exhibited).
Singapore, Singapore Art Museum, Li Chen: MindDBodyDSpirit, 2009 (different sized version exhibited).

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Felix Yip
Felix Yip

Lot Essay

Executed in 2008, Lord of Wind (Lot 1367), is a representative work from Li Chen's series "Soul Guardians" that exemplifies the continuing development in the artist's career. The relationship between the Taoist forces of nature, Wuxing (Five Elements), are personified in this series of sculptures that describes the interdependency and constant evolution of element - by which wood produces fire, fire produces earth, earth produces metal, metal produces water, and water produces wood.

Li Chen's figurative adaptation of the powerful Lord of Wind is an inflated mass that appears to be weightlessly floating on a shiny silvery cloud rising up above a sand installation. The contrast between light and shadow, and the balanced play between the misty sheen of the black Chinese lacquer against the reflective stainless steel finish, is quintessentially of Li's signature style. The effect is a powerful juxtaposition between heaviness and lightness, mass and void, which is fundamentally a statement that invites the viewers towards a serene and spiritual meditation on Buddhist thoughts on "emptiness". Rarely departing from a modern design, Li's works carry an alluring new oriental spirit that renews our traditional approach in religious themes and also bequeaths a fresh philosophical understanding of one's existence in the contemporary world.

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