Property from the Anna Maria Jagdfeld Collection of Contemporary Chinese Art

(Chinese, B. 1964)
Mask Series No. 11
signed in Chinese; dated '96' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
48 x 38.2 cm. (19 x 15 1/8 in.)
Painted in 1996
Schoeni Art Gallery, Hong Kong, China
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Schoeni Art Gallery Ltd., 8+8-1: Selected Paintings by 15 Contemporary Artists, Hong Kong, China, 1997 (illustrated, p. 22 & back cover).
Hong Kong, China, Schoeni Art Gallery, 8+8-1: Selected Paintings by 15 Contemporary Artists, 1997-1998.
Sale room notice
Please kindly note that Lot 2638 is signed and dated on the reverse.

Brought to you by

Felix Yip
Felix Yip

Lot Essay

The Anna Maria Jagdfeld Collection of Chinese Contemporary Art
As China emerged from the chaos of the Cultural Revolution, the intellectual and artistic conformity of the communist system, the country witnessed a profound and seismic transformation of its cultural scene. The subsequent decades heralded a new era of creativity that penetrated every aspect of art and culture. Relieved of the restrictions of a state-controlled cultural production system, young art academy students across the nation were suddenly exposed to an extraordinary range of tools, techniques, and philosophies that they would digest and incorporate into their own visions and inspirations. This transformation of the cultural field would manifest itself for years to come, opening up traditional fields of art-making to new subjects, visions, and an almost unprecedented privileging of the artist's subjectivity over all else.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Chinese artists broke with their academic training and began developing new artistic languages for a nation in transition, seeking to overturn inherited aesthetic paradigms for ones that better-suited a post-Mao, rapidly modernizing nation. These artists were inspired by a new influx of information and materials about contemporary Western art practices, but also by their own experience of China's 20th century. The confluence of these circumstances -- the rigor of the training received in art academies, the turmoil and upheavals of, first, the Cultural Revolution and, second, the breakneck pace of modernization, globalization, and economic growth -- laid the groundwork for one of the most extraordinary breaks with aesthetic tradition in recent memory.
While prescient curators and gallerists, like Li Xianting, Gao Minglu, Manfred Schoeni and Johnson Chang, were early champions of this art, it was not always immediately appreciated or understood within China. Foreign diplomats, journalists and intrepid collectors were often among the first to intuit that these unusual, experimental works - at turns understated, fearless, humorous, and thoroughly unprecedented - represented not only a complete re-definition of Chinese contemporary culture, but new terrain in contemporary art itself, suggesting innovative approaches to representation, subjectivity, and aesthetics. As such, the field of Chinese contemporary art in its nascent stage was defined early on as much by its devoted collectors as it was by the art itself. The Anna Maria Jagdfeld Collection of Chinese Contemporary Art is one such historic collection, extensive and wide-ranging, one that identified a movement before it completely recognized itself. The visionary force behind a Germany-based luxury conglomerate, Mrs. Jagdfeld has brought an open, intrepid, and aesthetically comprehensive approach to all aspects of her life and work, one enlivened by startling and often provocative juxtapositions, and a long-cultivated eye for originality, beauty, and quality.

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