Auction | China Guardian (HK) Auctions Co., Ltd.
2023 Spring Auctions > Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art
Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art

Zhang Yingnan (b.1981)
Echo(Painted in 2019)

Oil on canvas

130 × 170 cm. 51 1/8 × 66 7/8 in.

Titled, dated and signed in Chinese on the reverse
28 Sep – 27 Oct 2019, Golden Express – Zhang Yingnan Solo Exhibition, Soka Art, Beijing

Soka Art, Beijing
Private Collection, Asia

The Immortal Glory in the Dusty Memories
Zhang Yingnan's Inner Monologue

Born in Shanxi in 1981 and graduating from the Department of Oil Painting at Xi'an Academy of Fine Arts, Zhang Yingnan, now in his 42, is one of the rising stars in the Asian art world recently. Rather than the strong colours or dense textures that appeal to viewers, his clear and rational, calm and restrained imageries exude a surreal atmospheric landscape and dramatic implicitness, revealing the psychologies of loneliness and isolation in contemporary urban life and reflecting on humanities and life. His works are reminiscent of a lyrical andante, touching us in real life. Since 2018, he has launched three large-scale solo exhibitions and consistently appeared at the Art Basel Hong Kong, accumulating numerous fans, including the well-known lyricist Yao Chien who selected Zhang Yingnan's Mirror Heart as the promotional poster for his documentary One Man's Collection. Last year, China Guardian Hong Kong auctioned his work Night Breeze at a price five times higher than its estimation, which made it the artist's first work exceeding 1.1 million HKD in the Hong Kong auctioning market.

The Actuator of Soul

“Human is born lonely, while human in modern society is lonelier.”
——Zhang Yingnan

Echo presented at this spring auction is constructed differently from the symmetrical structure of the main space in Zhang's other works in the same period. In the work, Zhang channels the viewers into a seemingly ordinary domestic space, where a sofa and a wooden table occupy the centre. As the furniture is covered by dust cloth, the whole space appears silent and inhabited for a long time. On the right, there is a green locker in the style of the 1980s, on which a mirror unusually reflects a corner of the furniture on the same side, infusing the painting with a sense of surrealism. Here, the artist cunningly foreshadows the idea which invites the viewers to jump into a spatial imagination merely existing in memories in their own lives——in that space, probably in Xi'an he moved from his hometown to, or in later Beijing, there emerges Zhang's memory of his hometown after experiencing the gap between cities and countries and social reality. The imaginative space corresponds to the “silent old residence” in every spectator's life experience. This space fails to follow social progress and stops at its original place. Simultaneously, we can see a pot of tulips on the table, some in the bud while some in bloom, breaking off the silence and bringing energy and dynamic to the interior. The flowers echo the words of pink, red and orange tulips, “eternal love” and “everlasting”, whilst the number of eight suggests the “infinity” in numeric sign and the sign of “power” in Western cultures. The artist manipulates the sophisticated layout to make the painting a mirror reflecting every person who is looking at the work and calling out the warm moments in the distant hometown, a passage of the dusty past, or the person who is waiting in the distance or has already passed away——all of those which are fresh, cherished, and beloved.

Price estimate:
HKD: 250,000 – 450,000
USD: 31,800 – 57,300

Auction Result:
HKD: 1,320,000



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