Details
LI CHEN (B. 1963)
Soul
signed in Chinese, signed and numbered 'Li Chen 3/8' (incised on the lower back); dated '2006' (incised on the underside)
bronze sculpture
94(H) x 36.5 x 32 cm. (37 x 14 3/8 x 12 5/8 in.)
Executed in 2006
edition 3/8
Provenance
Private Collection, Asia
Literature
Asia Art Center, Li Chen: Energy of Emptiness - 52nd International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, Taipei, Taiwan, 2007, (different size version illustrated, p. 196-197, 221).
Asia Art Center, Li Chen: In Search of Spiritual Space- Solo Exhibition at National Art Museum of China, exh. cat.,Taipei, Taiwan, 2008
(different size version illustrated, p. 158-165, 199).
Asia Art Center, Soul Guardians: Li Chen Sculpture, Taipei, Taiwan, 2009 different size version illustrated, p.96).
Asia Art Center, Greatness of Spirit: Li Chen Premiere Sculpture Exhibition in Taiwan, exh. cat., Taipei, Taiwan, 2012 (different size version illustrated, p. 10).
Exhibited
Beijing, China, National Art Museum of China, Li Chen: In Search of Spiritual Space, April - May 2008. (different size version exhibited)

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Ada Tsui (徐文君)
Ada Tsui (徐文君) Specialist, Head of Day Sale

Lot Essay

Li Chen's Soul transforms what is invisible to the eye into a suggestive anthropomorphic form. Breathing the much-needed strength into its viewer, this work embodies both spirituality and transcendence—the essence of qi. Indeed, if the external world, as the artist has observed, only constantly causes distress to our mind, his work presents to us a renewable source of energy that guards our heart. In addition to its disproportionately plump feet and cocoonshaped bodies, this sculpture is also distinguished by the coy expressions of its two figures. Much like that of a child, their faces propel the viewer to reunite with their inner peace. But the two faces also exhibit contrasting elements that generate different emotive responses: Lurking beneath the compassionate expression of the standing figure with the eyes closed is its generosity of great spirits; whereas the baby-like figure above with its other-worldly smile is imbued with a sense of innocence that transcends our physical world. Through this voluptuously endearing work, Li Chen guides the viewer into his spiritual realm—one that is deeply rooted in the timeless wisdom from Eastern philosophy.
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