Musing on the individual and on mankind as a whole—their past, present, and future, and their ultimate fate—has always been the central theme of Zhang Xiaogang's work. This season, Christie's presents a 1989 work, Living and Dying—Tomorrow is Coming. Completed just one year after his famous large-scale triptych, La Vie Continue—Love, it displays the classic, mysterious style that so typified the work of his "far shore period" in the 1980s. While it exudes a surreal atmosphere similar to the work of de Chirico or Magritte, Zhang's colours and shapes clearly also suggest the primitive wildness of the early Chinese Huaxia tribal civilization. Symbols scattered far and near in Zhang's wilderness construct a kind of grand, cyclical narrative space. The painting's yellow-skinned protagonist stands proudly erect, while a figure in the middle ground, sitting on a carpet decorated with the traditional totemic patterns of Zhang Xiaogang's native Yunnan, falls into the deep memories of sleep. Bones in the background echo the themes of life, death, and reincarnation. Another figure, flying a kite in the distance, seems somehow psychically connected with the sky, as if looking toward the future. The entire work projects the mythical air of a timeless legend that wants to connect to both the future and the ancient world.