Sui Jianguo is an experimental pioneer who promotes modernising the artistic language of Chinese sculpture. He graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1989, where he is now the head of the Sculpture Department. Despite studying and working under the academic system, Sui persistently seeks to break away from traditional concepts and subjects, and deeply explores the use of materials and modelling to establish his unique, powerful style.
In Earth Forces, created in 1992, Sui reveals his understanding and expression of captivity. As the thick web of rebars wrap around the rock and bite into it, the two materials seem to merge peacefully with each other, but there is a powerful force of resistance inside, representing the suppression and contradictions within the individual's heart. Another Sui work that examines captivity is Made in China, a gigantic red dinosaur locked in an outdoor cage, which sits among a freely moving audience. The auction lot Legacy Mantle (Lot 484) comes from Sui's signature series. The Mao suit is more than just a garment; it is an icon of political leadership in the age of revolution. It symbolises the worship of power, but can also be regarded as prison garb that represses the growth of individualism. Sui transforms the special historical significance of the Mao suit into a form of modern artistic language, and strengthens the impression of unbreakable political power by using a tough, solid material. Unlike the realistic style during the Cultural Revolution, which emphasised the portrayal of individual characters, Sui's Mao Suit acts in a completely opposite way. It is hollow, with no figure inside, but the bulge in its abdominal part cleverly suggests the figure of a totalitarian leader whose characteristics and history arouse viewers' collective memory, thus evoking in them reflection on their own experiences and the history of their nation.