Auction | China Guardian (HK) Auctions Co., Ltd.
2017 Autumn Auctions
The Schoeni Family Collection

Mai Jinyao (B.1940)
Behind the Mask Series(nine pieces)(Photographed in 2001-2002;Executed in 2008)

Oil on canvas

40.5 × 30.5 cm × 9 16 × 12 in.

Seals on middle right and bottom center;signed,dated,titled in English and numbered on reverse(A)
Seals on bottom right;signed,dated,titled in English and numbered on reverse(B)
Seals on middle right and upper right;signed,dated,titled in English and numbered on reverse(C)
Seals on bottom right;signed,dated,titled in English and numbered on reverse(D)
Seals on upper right and bottom left;signed,dated,titled in English and numbered on reverse(E)
Seals on upper right and bottom left;signed,dated,titled in English and numbered on reverse(F)
Seals on middle right and bottom left;signed,dated,titled in English and numbered on reverse(G)
Seals on upper left and bottom right;signed,dated,titled in English and numbered on reverse(H)
Seals on upper left;signed,dated,titled in English and numbered on reverse(I)

1997, 8+8-1: Selected Paintings by 15 Contemporary Artists, Schoeni Art Gallery, Hong Kong, p.72-74
20 Jun – 12 Jul 1997,8+8-1:Selected Paintings by 15 Contemporary Artists,Schoeni Art Gallery,Hong Kong
1998,8+8-1:Selected Paintings by 15 Contemporary Artists,Connaught Brown Gallery,London

This work is accompanied by Certificate of Authenticity issued by Schoeni Art Gallery,Hong KongDouble Self by Mai Jinyao
"Artists have to survive",Manfred gracefully dismissed his generosity to me with these words.I have since learnt how much he has given to others.The Schoeni Art Gallery has been a tremendous vehicle for the promotion of contemporary Chinese art.Local and international exhibitions,the catalogues,and books were Manfred’s public face.Meanwhile he supported and supplied materials to artists on the mainland,he bought works in series,give substantial advances,he helped people in many little ways,not just out of commitment to the work,but out of sympathy with people.I think he tried to understand what made other creative people tick and was curious enough to travel the world with this in mind.He understood the problems that poverty can bring,having experienced it at close quarters when young.
The first time he came to visit my studio in Mortimer in the summer of 1995,it was a beautiful day and we went for lunch later in an English country pub.We sat enjoying the sunshine in the pub garden.That was the true beginning of our friendship.
─Mai Jinyao
Mai Jinyao was born in 1940 in Singapore and took a liking to art beginning in his childhood.In 1953,he enrolled in the Hwa Chong Institution,where he laid the foundation for an art education under the guidance of Chen Wen Hsi and Cheong Soo Pieng.In 1961,he successively enrolled in the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art in England.Over the course of his studies there,he received art awards at various art exhibitions,like first prize at the England Young Contemporaries Exhibition in 1963,solidifying his reputation as a gifted artist.After graduating in 1968,he settled down in England,where he taught art at various art institutes for nearly 20 years.In 1992,he returned to Asia and held a solo exhibition at the China Club in Hong Kong.Three years later,he held another solo exhibition at the Schoeni Art Gallery.His works have been welcomed into the art collections of the National Gallery of Singapore,London’s Tate Modern,the Arts Council England,and the China Club in Hong Kong.
This auction features nine works as part of Mai’s Behind the Mask Series,a succession of artwork created in the spirit of memories of his childhood.Looking back on his childhood years,he would frequently go to his family’s bar after school to help out.There,he encountered all sorts of people of all ages,coming to understand people full of love,hate,anger,craze,and other human desires.He found that people sometimes tend to wear masks to conceal their actual selves when interacting with others,while other times they just return fo iuitial animalistic behaviors.Through this series of works,the artist portrays his humorous observations,which embrace a hint of mischievous ridicule.In the words of the artist,“My interest lies in people’s social interactions and the complexities of humans.Once when I was visiting relatives in Singapore,I bought a group of Peking Opera paper cutouts in a bookstore,and I used the designs of these cutouts to frame depictions of all kinds of expressions.The Little children and monkeys wearing masks represent the other side of myself,like a comedian and philosopher.” Mai’s works are both vivid and interesting.

Price estimate:
HKD: 10,000 – 30,000
USD: 1,300 – 3,800

Auction Result:
HKD: 11,800



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