(Chinese, B. 1943)
Bikers No. 1; & No. 2
signed and titled in Chinese (on a label on the reverse of each print) pair of digital prints mounted as scrolls
mounted: 229 x 80 cm. (90 1/8 x 31 1/2 in.) each
image: 128.2 x 65.5 cm. (50 1/2 x 25 3/4 in.) each
Executed in 2000
edition 2/10
one seal of the artist on each work (2)
Lin & Keng Gallery, Zhang Hongtu Recent Works, exh. cat., Taipei, Taiwan, 2007 (illustrated, plate No. 17, p. 24).
Sale room notice
Please note that the works are of edition 2/10.

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Eric Chang
Eric Chang

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Lot Essay

In Wen Zhengming: Monet from 1999 (Lot 456), Zhang Hongtu evokes in the mien of Claude Monet's Impressionist paintings. When Zhang combines Wen Zhengming, one of the masters of Chinese ink painting from the Ming Dynasty, with Monet, we are left with something new and entirely different. While the medium is oil, not Chinese ink wash, the work evokes Wen's style and spirit. Zhang applied Monet's vibrant brightness through the use of unmediated colors and range of tones to the shadows of the mountains, eliminating a linear perspective where Wen's landscape is reshaped to stimulate feelings of strength through isolation, an iconic theme of the late Chinese master's works. Through these modern reinterpretations Zhang transforms traditional Chinese painting, instilling the art from the past with its own vitality giving it an "on-going" presence.
Zhang intentionally blurs different cultures and representational traditions, and his interest in combining elements of different media and traditions can be seen in Bikers (Lot 457), a double-scroll digital print, a montage of photographs and paintings composed in the vertical format of traditional Chinese hanging scrolls. The left scroll displays a mass of Chinese cyclists riding towards the viewer dressed in contemporary attire. Looming behind the cyclists is a painted mountain suggestive of classical Chinese painting. At a glance, it appears the modern day cyclists are biking down from the mountain steadfast on leaving tradition behind to return to the contemporary world. The right scroll illustrates the Chinese cyclists again but with their backs turned away from the viewer cycling towards an uncertain destination, revealing an ironic perspective that is neither East nor West but fixed within a traveler through space and time.

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