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

Zhao Yang (b.1970)
Striker of Light(Painted in 2018)

Oil and acrylic on canvas

210 × 150 cm. 82 5/8 × 59 in.

Signed in pinyin and dated on bottom right; signed in Chinese and dated on the reverse

2021, Zhao Yang, ShanghART Gallery, Shanghai, p.58
ShanghART Gallery, Shanghai
Acquired directly by present private Asian collector from the above

Break through the Darkness with Light and Open up the Way Forward
Zhao Yang's Ground-Breaking Striker of Light

Born in 1970, Zhao Yang graduated from the China Academy of Art in 1995, and after working for a children's publishing house for 15 years, he decided to embark on the path of an independent artist in 2008. This bold decision led him to wander around Beijing in the early stages of his career, where he felt the desire to break the boundaries of lonely. He does not use art as a means to restore the real world but to maximise the contrast with reality. Since he was a child, he loved reading myths, which later became his inspiration. In his creations, he repeatedly applies fluid brushstrokes, breaking away from the academic techniques to find the "land beyond the law" of painting. His works have been exhibited in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, New York, Paris, London, and more. His works are also collected by institutions such as the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the K11 Art Museum and Tank Shanghai.

A Stirring and Courageous Fighter of Fate

In Striker of Light, Zhao Yang uses the highly recognisable low-saturation pink and blue colours in many of his works as the dominant colour palette, making a sense of illusion. On the left, he brushes the sky with speedy grey-pink brushstrokes. On the right, the jagged geometric edges are outlined with bold brown lines and filled in with light blue, creating a hazy ruin in the darkness before dawn. Combined with the square projected on the left and the ellipses below, the large number of geometric constructions are like basic plaster blocks, suggesting the rules of traditional art education or the constraints of society. In the centre, the protagonist with a beard and a wide-brimmed hat, as tall as a brave soldier, holds a flashlight and a hammer in his hands, looking for the way forward in the ruins. He is like a lonely but determined brave hero. A few free-flowing drops of blue and white colours break the order of the painting, revealing the inner passion of the artist and his desire to break the shackles.

In Zhao Yang's paintings, a hero of epic valour goes to war with a single hammer, opening up a new world in chaos, smashing established rules and facing the unknown in the darkness. Under the strike of robust strength, the path of light is revealed through persistent chiselling, leading the viewer to a world of freedom!

Price estimate:
HKD: 150,000 – 250,000
USD: 19,200 - 31,900

Auction Result:
HKD: 180,000



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