Auction | China Guardian (HK) Auctions Co., Ltd.
2015 Autumn Auctions
20th Century and Contemporary Chinese Art

ZHANG YU (1959)
Divine Light No. 45

Ink on paper

109 x 102 cm.42 7/8 x 40 1/8 in.

Signed in Pinyin and dated on lower right

EXHIBITED Context Art Miami, Da Xiang Art Space, Miami, USA, December 2012
PROVENANCE Private collection,Asia.

Zhang Yu b.1959

It is our honor to present two of Zhang Yu’s works from different series in this auction,including the early “Divine Light” series and the classic “Fingerprint” series,which lasts towards today. In 1991,Zhang Yu has been making attempts to break the models established by traditional literati paintings through a behavior expression by directly dabbing glue ink on the paper with fingers,which is known as the preliminary “finger print series.” Zhang went to Russian in 1992 and drafted the “20th Century Contemporary Chinese Ink Painting Art Trends” during a half-year and called for artists and art critics with the same concept to launch ink painting experiment. It was a popular period of “experimental ink painting.” In 1993,Zhang made more non-figurative attempt and by 1994,he discovered the “Divine Light” series with basic composition theory derived from the oriental aesthetics,including “residual circle” and“broken square.”“Residual circle”originated from the concept of fingerprint and this series has developed for more than ten years. After the concept based on oriental philosophy reach its maturity,Zhang Yu returned to fingerprint creation in 2000 and dissolve the abstract intent of the past but repeatedly press the fingers to transform it into a type of “behavior record.” He later developed image and spatial installation,breaking away from the framework of traditional media and completely establishing the personal contemporary language system,in addition to detaching his art thoroughly from the pure scope of “painting” and upgrading to the system of international contemporary arts.

Zhang replaced brush with fingers in his fingerprint works,using red color,light ink or just water to replace the traditional black ink. The finger is pressed onto the paper repeatedly to detach the aesthetics of traditional paintings,which fundamentally changes the limitation of materials and the media for ink painting,establishing a personal style and artistic language. He has developed an expression form with idealism and oriental Zen. This work,“2005.11.2” adopts plant paint to bring down ink painting from the noble traditional painting and into life so that the work contains “daily elements,” breaking the existing concept and forms of traditional painting. Zhang Yu believes that the process of pressing ink on rice paper with fingers seems to be the most preliminary state of printing,while the behavior of fingerprint is continual rubbing,and the body becomes a practice with perception of oneself and the nature.

”Divine Light” was born from fingerprint,magnifying and unfolding from one of the ink point made by fingerprint. However “Divine Light” is executed in large part through brush and painting techniques,which is quite rich in composition. The “Divine light” confirmed in 1994 was divided into “Residual circle” and “broken square.” “Divine Light No. 45” is the representative of “broken square”. The single image composition includes varying ink paint with traces of brush wrinkling and the charms of formal structure. Zhang Yu creates strong lighting and speed in the image to present a planet that seems to float in the universe while the crack patterns symbolize human’s merciless damage to earth following technological progress which leads to loss of balance and high level of literary care. In fact,the mental transition of artists is closely related to divine light and fingerprint. Particularly the divine light series is the turning point for the artist’s career with rare quantity that is worth collection.

Price estimate:
HKD:380,000 - 480,000
USD:49,020 - 61,900

Auction Result:
HKD : 448,400



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