"Breath" and "The Story of Liu Garden" by Hong Lei

$15,180 USD
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W: 39.0" H: 27.5"
Oil on Canvas
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Born in Changzhou, China in 1960, artist Hong Lei was one of the leading artists of China's New Photography movement of the 1990s. Drawn to traditional landscape paintings as a source of early inspiration, the artist works across multiple mediums to place classic subject matters within the contemporary contexts of a changing China. Hong Lei mourns the rapid loss of Chinese tradition and attempts to imbue all his works with sense of cultural nostalgia.

These works, entitled "Breath" and "The Story of Liu Garden," bring to light the erasure and distortion of time-honored cultural practices. Each painting features a single central photograph, surrounded by quick pencil sketches revealing the artist's meditations, each promptly censored by a brushstroke of white oil paint. In "The Story of Liu Garden," a black-and-white photograph of the Lingering Garden, a landscape honored for its traditional design, buries the image of an unborn child, likely pointing to the dark consequences of China's "one-child" policy. In "Breath," drawings of lungs and trachea are centered around images of a diseased human body, manifesting the plague of modernization. Playing within a shared visual language, these paintings recontextualize traditional Chinese aesthetics to articulate Hong Lei's concerns for a changing cultural body.

Mixed media on canvas. Unframed. Set of 2.

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