Christie’s is honored to present Nameless Day 20 in the spring evening auction. It is one of Jia Aili’s important works created in 2007.
Nameless Day 2 is from Jia Aili’s time at Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts, and has as its background his home in Dandong beside the Yalu River. It pays tribute to British poet TS Eliot's master opus The Waste Land.
With an epic perspective, the artist depicts a turbid but real world: the protagonist, wearing a gas mask, sits on a lonely, vast expanse of wasteland stretching as far as the eye can see, with a silent, hidden sea raging, converging with a grey but transparent sky at the horizon, and with a space shuttle blasting up into space in the far distance. The bleak deserted beach objectively represents the Yalu River and an era marked by a crisis of faith.
Cultures, tradition, religion, all are as gravel on the beach as each becomes a mere shard of debris, a refraction of the modern spirit of emptiness and confusion. Placid waves lap at the beach, seemingly devouring all in the wilderness of this world. The distant airflow, like lightning across the sky seems to be the thunderclap’s warning of the thunderbolt. The barren horizon is the sky’s boundary line, which forms the starting point for life. The protagonist in the painting is not any specific individual, but the you or the I ‘face’ in the crowd, confronting a barren external environment, an inner world of empty wilderness, a lone survivor in a world of self alone, eager to acquire nectar for the soul, redemption and rebirth, and seeking spiritual break-out and release from the morass of mundane life.