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

Shi Chong (b.1963)
Story – Water, Air and Body(Painted in 2006)

Oil on canvas

27 × 40 cm. 10 5/8 × 15 3/4 in.

Signed in Chinese and dated on bottom left; Titled and signed in Chinese and dated on the reverse

2006, Story – Water, Air and Body, Blue Dream Land Gallery, Chengdu, p. 31-32
18 – 29 Nov 2006, Story – Water, Air and Body, Blue Dream Land Gallery, Chengdu

Blue Dream Land Gallery, Chengdu
Important Private Collection, Asia

Purposeless Finding the Pearl
Shi Chong's Poetic and Misty Story of Human Body

“I am sometimes surprised at how the body reacts to the reckless interference of water, air, and substances. I capture the transient and disorderly changes in the water, which is sort of like the uncertain anticipation of alternating several substances in a laboratory.”
——Shi Chong

“Questioning realism with Realism, Questioning human body with Human Body,” the famous Chinese artist Shi Chong synthesizes new conceptual thinking in the traditional oil painting subject matter, “human body.” Through a series of scenes consisting of installation, performance, photography, and make-up, he creates shocking artistic scenes using vivid and delicate photorealistic techniques, which realize the transformation, reunion, metaphor, and regeneration of the human body in visual languages. In 1993, he was awarded the Gold Prize of the Second China Oil Painting Exhibition for his ultra-realistic portrayal of a plaster human body, A Walking Man. In 1996, his work Today's Landscape won the China Oil Painting Art Award, the highest award for Chinese oil paintings.

After 2000, Shi Chong used a series of works such as “Story,” “Whisper,” and “Expression” to present the interplay between the human body and water, air, and film medium, replacing realistic objects with blurred and illusory bodies. Meanwhile, the vivid vapours become the traceable state of actuality, demonstrating “a mental state of real existence.” Story —— Water, Air, and Body, completed in 2006, is the representative work of his “Story” series, which has received wide acclaim. In this smaller, more intimate work, he creates an unacquainted yet poetic viewing experience, as if telling Zhuangzi's allegory of “Purposeless finding the colored pearl”: without mind, without sight, without hearing, without a clear purpose, the pearl can obtain the “Tao” of the mysterious pearl.

In the soft contrast of light and shadow, the painting focuses on the lower half of the female body, showing the beauty of the body with rich textures, soft skin, and curvy lines. However, in front of her body, two V-shaped watermarks, rounded water bubbles, and flickering air currents blur the viewer's focus and make it shift between the border of the opaque and the clear, the illusion and the real. In the pursuit of such poetic visual representation, the body speaks silently and powerfully of the struggle hidden in the silence, the reality existing in the misty, and the strength shaped in the softness. The formless and colourless air and water are independent of yet intrinsically integrated with the tangible image of the body. In the harmonization of mediums, the female body seems to merge into the watery and foggy world, breaking away from the traditional viewpoint of “being observed,” which rewrites the body's consciousness and reinterprets the quest for the essence of life and existence.

Price estimate:
HKD: 100,000 – 200,000
USD: 12,700 – 25,500

Auction Result:
HKD: 252,000



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