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2024 Spring Auctions > Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art
Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art

Ouyang Chun (b.1974)
Stargazing Auto(Painted in 2006)

Oil on canvas

205 × 205 cm. 80 3/4 × 80 3/4 in.

Signed in English and dated on upper right; signed and titled in Chinese and dated on the reverse

2006, Luminescent - Ouyang Chun, Star Gallery, Beijing, p.316-317, and 321
Star Gallery, Beijing
Gallery J. Chen, Taipei
Acquired directly by present important private Asian collector from the above

Heading for the Brilliant Stars and Sea
Ouyang Chun’s Passion for Life Written in the Stars

"Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up."
—— British Physicist Stephen Hawking

Graduating from Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts in 1994 and living in Beijing, Ouyang Chun is among the most recognized leading contemporary Chinese artists. His works are based on a sensitive understanding of life and social realities, expressing his rebellion against conformity. He boldly breaks away from traditional techniques and conventions and opens up his own world with a style full of childish charm, passion and humour. The rich and dense oil paints and the unrestrained and expressive brushstrokes are his weapons to construct a genuine and straightforward "ideal world", leading the viewer to seek and reunite with the "child" in one’s heart, making him outstanding in the art world. As one of the first Chinese artists born in the 1970s to hold a solo exhibition in major European art museums, he has been invited to hold solo exhibitions at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Austria, the me Collectors Room in Berlin, Germany, and the Yanhuang Museum Art Museum in Beijing.

A "Golden Age" Masterpiece Emerges
A Celebration of Power and Colour

Stargazing Auto was completed in 2006 and is a representative of Ouyang Chun’s artistic career, which began with his first solo exhibition in 2004, followed by an appreciation from Beijing’s Star Gallery the following year, then a period of exploding creativity after that. From 2005 to 2010, he entered a golden age with endless creative inspiration and a critical turning point in his creative endeavours. Since then, he switched from the previous grey tones to colourful and swift brushstrokes, establishing a unique personal style and laying the foundation for his solid position in today’s art world. Stargazing Auto is a large-scale masterwork of this period and is the closing work of the artist’s first collective body of works, Luminescent.

The painting shows a brilliant symphony of stars in the night sky. Like Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh, who is Ouyang Chun’s source of inspiration, the artist composes layers of exaggeratedly big golden stars to show the vast expanse of the universe. With minimalist yet powerful brushstrokes, he dips into highly saturated gold pigment and outlines the pentagon forms like diamonds scattered over a piece of black velvet. Brilliant and glittering, the stars shine unapologetically in their splendour. Exuding a sense of speed, golden lines on the outer edge of the stars radiate in all directions like rays of light and illuminate the night sky. The short, golden strokes on the bodies of the stars are sometimes applied densely and sometimes sparsely, cleverly demonstrating the stars’ different shades and ever-flickering nature, rendering each one distinctive and unique. The twinkling stars are like the manifestations of people’s wishes, igniting the light of hope in the darkness.

Returning to the Basics with a Heart of Gold

Although Ouyang Chun has academic training, he deliberately builds his sacred kingdom using innocent brushstrokes like the doodling of a child. With this, he speaks of the life experiences deep in one’s soul, bringing people the joy of returning to nature. In the lower middle section of Stargazing Auto, a red sports car that looks like a toy car carries two adult men under the starry sky. With pursed lips and slightly arched eyebrows, the two stargazers gaze upward in fascination. Their eyes communicate shock, amazement, or confusion, with a hint of melancholy like an adult’s nostalgia for childhood. The stars in the midnight sky call to their young selves and the sparks of aspirations that may have been put off by life, touching the hearts of countless people.

During childhood, Ouyang Chun used to go stargazing with his friends in the countryside, which fostered a deep resonance with nature in him. In the early days of his solo stay in Beijing, he struggled with many setbacks and confusion. Still, the star in his heart always guided him to eventually become one of the leading figures in China’s contemporary art scene today. This work is like a flashback to his childhood stargazing memories as an adult. Indeed, human beings are just a drop in the ocean compared to the infinite universe, but we are ever so profoundly inspired by it. With simple brushstrokes that bring out strong emotions, he uses stargazing to express a longing for life, an obsessive love for art, and a dedication to his ideals, igniting his dreams in the cold of the night and giving people the courage and hope for the future.

Price estimate:
HKD: 800,000 – 1,500,000
USD: 102,200 - 191,600

Auction Result:
HKD: 1,200,000



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