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HONG LING (CHINA, B.1955)
HONG LING (CHINA, B.1955)

COUNTRY HOME

Details
HONG LING (CHINA, B.1955)
COUNTRY HOME
signed in Chinese (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
90 x 90 cm. (35 3/8 x 35 3/8 in.)
Painted in 1986
Provenance
Private Collection, California, USA (acquired directly from the artist by the present owner)
Exhibited
Costa Mesa, USA, Orange Coast College, Chinese Realism-Contemporary Paintings from China, 2000.
Brea, USA, Brea City Gallery, Chinese Realism, 2001.

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Lot Essay

In the years following 1949, great strides were made by China's Realist artists. However, all this changed with the advent of the Cultural Revolution. The course of art and literature was altered to accord with the national policy and art became a tool for propagating political ideology. The pictorial style of this era, taking its cue from Russian Socialist Realism, was peopled with realistic and handsome heroic figures with ruddyfaced good health; a façade of peace and prosperity that in no way reflected social reality. Political fetters were gradually eased in the late 1970s, hinting at a possible resurrection of Chinese art. Artists such as Luo Zhongli, Hong Ling, and Xu Jiang began to devote attention to their land and those who made a living from it. Regardless of theme or art idiom, the import was one of innovation.

As avant-garde art surged in China in 1985, Hong Ling was admitted to the Central Academy of Fine Arts as a student in their advanced class. During this period, he created a significant number of oil paintings with an air of modernism, including a series of landscapes shrouded with mystical atmosphere, executed in neutral and grey color tones. Country Home (Lot 408), created in 1986, represents an attempt by the artist to incorporate both the abstract and figurative painting idioms. The narrative of the painting is completed in flat colours, together with a texture created by repeated brushstrokes. Under Hong Ling's paint brush, time comes to a standstill; the green tiles of the mottled house compliment the high mountains and gloomy sky in the background, while a distant moon watches intently from above, taking it all in. The sense of serenity, peace and leisure needs no saying.

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