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Zhen Xu (b.1977)
Under Heaven-3326GK0145
signed 'Xu Zhen' in Chinese, dated '2012 - 2013', a metal tag of 'Xu Zhen, Under Heaven-3326GK0145, oil on canvas, dibond, 90 x 120 x 11 cm, 2012 - 2013, produced by MadeIn Company' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas, dibond
90 x 120 x 11 cm. (35 3/8 x 47 1/4 x 4 3/8 in.)
Painted in 2012-2013

Lot Essay

Xu Zhen's Under Heaven Series features a visually overwhelming canvas of curled, dazzlingly coloured, and sweet-looking cream rosettes made of oil paint. This intriguingly visual language embodies a new context of Pop art under globalisation. The 'buttercream' here is undoubtedly artificial, representing an image of a signification: it is fairly appetizing, yet unhealthy. It reflects a fast-paced hedonist society of modern time in which human beings are forced to resist temptations while still desiring an idealistic and beautiful life.

The oil pigments are loaded in the pastry bag and piped onto the canvas to create the rosette arrangement that is similar to an edible cake. Employing layers and layers of oil paint, Xu unlocks a three-dimensional spatial sense that is not only at the viewer's fingertip but also a stimulus for pleasant aroma. Created with the artist's unconstrained imagination and the dexterity in colour mixing, Under Heaven-3326GK0145 presents a mouth-watering, relief-like representation of coloured cream rosettes in rosy red, lavender purple, and cherry blossom pink. It is a floral assortment of enjoyment, delight, and comfort. The painting not only shows the dazzlingly saturated colours amplified by the smoothness and sweetness of the buttercream, but also intensifies the visual sensation of the viewer as if in the dreamland.

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