Auction | China Guardian (HK) Auctions Co., Ltd.
2018 Spring Auctions
Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art

YUAN YUAN (b.1975)
Museum III(Painted in 2012)

Oil on canvas

102×135 cm. 40 1/8×53 1/8 in

Signed in English and dated on bottom right
Private Collection, Asia

Humanism in Contemporary Chinese Art:
A Love Poem to Space – Museum III by Yuan Yuan
Artists in the New Millennium need to follow a path that traverses the space between abstract painting and realist themes. Yuan Yuan was born in 1973 and graduated from the Department of Oil Painting at China Academy of Art. With his outstanding realist painting skills as a foundation, Yuan uses photo-realist type brushwork in a way that reflects an obsessive depiction of layers of superimposed images made up of countless tiny mosaics and colour imbued with strong emotional meaning. In this way, his unique paintings, which wander from representational to abstract, realism to expressionism, represent a brand new style that showcases the spirit of a new generation of Chinese literati.
Museum III and the Missing ’People’
“I seek to express people through the marks their actions leave behind ... Spaces filled with a sense of people are especially curious.”
- Yuan Yuan
The works of Yuan Yuan reflect a highly personalized sense of emptiness and loneliness. The artist creates unfamiliar points of connection between the worlds of exterior building walls and interior living spaces, extended into unknown levels that could be a long-deserted outdoor amusement park or breeding farm though it is the “absence of people and empty buildings” that are the focus. In contrast to mainstream cultural explorations that revolve around people, Yuan Yuan follows a path of exploration in which “people” and “space” are interchangeable. This enables him to eliminate “people” and transform buildings and space into expressive images that make emotions visual.
Museum III is one of the most distinctive of Yuan’s paintings. Where it differs from other works is in its use of the spatial structure of a building and detailed depiction of the texture of building materials. It is through these that the artist boldly attempts to present “doors” and “windows” as an alternative motif, assembled in a strange and claustrophobic space as a surreal self-referencing metaphor.
Museum III depicts an abandoned room in which three walls are made up of the sort of tightly packed red bricks generally used to build exterior walls, creating a building that is both cold and of the times. The attention to detail and compactness of the artist’s painting means he is able to depict the changing layers of red in a single brick, as if the unconscious marks of passing time. The walls are decorated with doors and windows, the closed doors and half-open metal window gratings like stories and memories imprinted in the depths of a locked-away inner world. As part of this “people-less” exploration, Yuan Yuan closes the windows and doors, taking viewers from an indoor scene to a distant visual experience as an outsider, facing the heavily locked door of self-reflection. This deepens the sense of “a place without people” as compared to thoughts about the past in which people came and went.

Price estimate:
HKD: 100, 000 - 150, 000
USD: 12, 800 - 19, 200

Auction Result:
HKD: 212,400



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