Alexander Ochs Galleries, Berlin
Acquired by the present owner from the above
Fang Lijun's bald-headed figures represent tacit helplessness of the Chinese people in nineties. In an atmosphere of intense commercialism and urbanization, the hooligans depicted by Fang Lijun are those of an ideal-less generation, disillusioned and bored. Post-89 and the Tiananmen Square incident, the generation of Chinese people who had such enthusiasm and hope for their developing country, found itself once again lost and apathetic towards their political and social reality.
Fang's art, from this point on, has slowly transcended to an anthropological contemplation. Through the depiction of different animals—birds, insects, fish and beasts—this new series of paintings bring to the viewer's attention Fang's meditation about life. In this series reminiscent of the South American literary movement of Magic Realism, we see clans of animals closely flying horizontally across the large canvas, swirling into a central point. Are they chasing each other? Or are they competing? Or is it an omen for mankind? The artist once asserted: "Swans and flies are creatures with flying capability; a comparative human aesthetic simply does not exist." To Fang, all animals are equal; they embody a raw and natural message that is constantly in communication with humans. Fully realized in 2006.5.5, a painting of magnificent scale, Fang openly suggests the importance of the animal world. In the work, we cannot distinguish if it was the swan that became the jetfighter or vice versa. To the artist, flying swans are a metaphor of human beings, showing their beauty and dynamism. 2006.5.5 (Lot 618) is a milestone demarcating the artist's new series of works and move away from the grinning bald-headed men of his earlier phase.
Works from this series have been shown in various major retrospective exhibitions. Among them are Fang Lijun Solo Exhibiition in 2007 at the Shanghai Art Museum and Endlessness of Life: 25 Years Retrospect of Fang Lijun in 2009 at the Taipei Art Museum.
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