Born in 1980 in Hong Kong, Chow Chun Fai obtained both his bachelor and master's degrees from the Fine Arts department of the Chinese University Hong Kong. His works were exhibited in Saatchi Gallery's show Hong Kong Eye in 2012. He also participated in the Liverpool Biennial the same year. Extensively appropriating images and ideas from popular culture and classic works from both Eastern and Western traditions, Chow Chun Fai consistently creates ground-breaking works in the painting and photography media.
The Warlords: You Can't Survive without Brothers in These Days (Lot 247) is one of the works from his famed movie series. The image in the painting is a scene captured from a movie by the artist. When viewers first encounter this work from a distance, they can easily identify the figures and landscapes. However, upon close examination, one would notice the difference in medium between the enamel paint that was used in this work and the typical oil paint – the much greater fluidity and solubility create a unique sensibility that is relaxed and lyrical.
For someone who had not seen the movie The Warlords, it will be difficult for them to decipher the context of the story. It is historic drama set in the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom period. Without this information, the attention of the viewers fall onto the subtitles on the bottom of the painting. Originally, this dialogue was created to service the plot of the story. However, through the artist's appropriation by transforming the context into the visual art format, new meaning is bestowed on this line. According to each viewer's personal experience and background, they will interpret this line according to their own context. As a result, the content of this dialogue will be transformed – it will transcend its original framework and continue to generate new meaning. "You can't survive without brothers in these days" is not merely a line from a movie to the artist. It is a universal truth that inspired him to proclaim it in his painting.