Lot 94
  • 94

Yang Feiyun

200,000 - 300,000 USD
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  • Yang Feiyun
  • Empty Mirror
  • signed Feiyun in Chinese and Pinyin and dated 2006

  • oil on canvas
  • 78 3/4 by 39 3/8 in. 200 by 100 cm.


Acquired by the present owner directly from the artist


Beijing, National Art Museum of China, China Realism, October, 2006

Catalogue Note

Yang Feiyun was born in Inner Mongolia in 1954 and graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1982.  He became a professor in the Oil Painting Department there in 1984, a post he still remains today.  Like other painters of his generation, Yang traveled to Europe and the United States in the late 1980s, and during visits to museums, he mesmerized by the works Old Masters, Impressionists and Post-impressionists.  It was also in the 1980s that Yang began to paint his wife, also a painter, casually dressed in pared down interior settings or in the nude against a backdrop of Northern Renaissance landscapes.  He has since then retained his interest in the beauty of the female form and his stylistic proclivity towards a soft-focus realism. 

Empty Mirror (Lot 94) is among Yang’s most recent works and was shown at the China Realism exhibition at the National Art Museum of China in 2006.  This accomplished painting reflects a narrative turn in the artist’s primarily portraiture-based practice and consists of a lanky adolescent girl standing before a blue-green chest with a triple mirror, whose reflective surfaces have been painted black.  She holds in her right hand another small mirror; its reflective surface tilts towards the viewer but the image reflected within is indefinable.  To the right of the picture, a small, naked, male baby doll appears to stride forward just adjacent to the girl, perhaps a peculiar little character that might be an allusion to the accoutrements of European court portraiture.  The mystery of the painting derives from this playful juxtaposition of imagery and the ambiguity of mirrored reflections and their absence.  The naked doll, striding for the lower left corner of the composition, seems to act as a parody of the graceful girl whose daydreaming gaze turns towards the upper right corner.  As the light falls upon her, she seems a model of youthful innocence and beauty, although the devilish doll adds an enigmatic innuendo to this refined and restrained composition.