Acrylic on canvas
190 × 250 cm. 74 3/4 × 98 3/8 in.
Signed in pinyin and dated on bottom right
2015, Alluvial: Huang Yuxing 2005-2015, Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, p.159
5 Sep – 4 Oct 2015, Alluvial: Huang Yuxing 2005-2015, Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai
30 Mar 2019, China Guardian Hong Kong Spring Auction, Lot 734
Acquired directly by present important Asian private collector from the above
Maintaining Non-Action in an “Ever-Changing” World
The Psychedelic Landscapes of Huang Yuxing
From his Ever-Changing History of Life series, which grapples with individual trials and tribulations, to the Light and Habitat series, which focuses more on global realities, and finally to his recent River series, which evokes ripples in time and space; Huang Yuxing's work reflects his ever-improving technical prowess as well as the close relationship between his creative process and personal experiences. Through his idiosyncratic use of vibrant colors and symbolic subject matter, the artist creates portals into surreal new worlds.
It was around 2015 that rivers became the central focus of Huang Yuxing's paintings. Huang uses rivers as a means of expressing his ideas about time and life. For him, they represent the passage of time, and by incorporating them into his works, he is able to hint at things to come. Meanwhile, the rivers also symbolize both life and destruction —— as the riverbank swells and surges, it sweeps away residues in its path. This is reminiscent of the modern age: under the influence of the Internet and rampant consumerism, people are overwhelmed by a barrage of visual media. While society often celebrates the wealth of content that the Internet has provided, its prosperity is a double-edged sword. Huang uses a combination of oil, industrial, and spray paint to add a touch of the surreal to these river scenes. His trademark oval shapes act as shorthand for individuals in society, creating a world situated somewhere between the realistic and the abstract.
As its name suggests, the work for auction, River, is emblematic of Huang's recent series of river landscapes. It seems to depict a narrow space in a mysterious cave. Through the use of different colors and grains, Huang creates a visual balance between two starkly contrasting surfaces: rocks and water. Vertical lines run down in tight rows from the top of the canvas, resembling stalactites or a rock face eroded and warped by running water. Red, green, blue, and yellow lines rapidly fluctuate across the canvas, almost as though being dragged down by an invisible force. Meanwhile, at the bottom of the canvas, a river representing the source of life flows quietly by. The horizontal grain of the river, composed of concentric circles, creates a tranquil atmosphere that contrasts strongly with the grove of stalactites above. The artist has given the river a translucent appearance by applying a glaze as well as using colors that evoke the coolness of the water and contrast with the prominent use of fiery reds in the vertical grain. Through the juxtaposition of two completely different visual effects within the one landscape, the work hints at how, while technology has seemingly brought people closer together, it has in fact further contributed to their isolation and exacerbated their ideological differences.
In this work, the artist has maintained the same creative approach from his Light series. He uses the river to divide the landscape in the middle to two parts, creating a powerful tension between the tranquil river at the bottom and the hyperkinetic “stalactite” pattern on the top. These two contrasting spaces evoke both permanence and change.
By fusing and juxtaposing different shapes and colors, Huang Yuxing creates radiant, psychedelic scenes. The clash between the surface of the river and the rock face reminds one of the power of life and conveys the Taoist notion of adapting to change through non-action.
HKD: 1,200,000 - 2,200,000
USD: 154,200 - 282,600
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