Lot 11
  • 11

The Dance of Life

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  • The Dance of Life
  • signed LI JIN
  • ink and colour on paper
  • 180 by 98 cm., 71 by 38 3/4 in.
  • 2014

Catalogue Note

Li Jin's paintings draw inspiration from his vast reservoir of cultural phenomenon observed by an indiscriminate mind. In The Dance of Life, the dancing figures are reminiscent of Victorian nude paintings, the nymphs in a Botticelli painting, the dancers depicted on Grecian amphorae, or other iconic images of revelry—all viewed at some point in print or during the artist's extensive travels around the world. The universality of the nude form is as common as the human need for food, thus this is a truth in art and life depicted by Li Jin's painting. The dancers are symbols of artistic liberty, whose movements echo the freedom with which the artist includes his subjects, such as food and creatures. The rosy-cheeked artist himself is surrounded by chargrilled meat and vegetables on sticks and has a priceless expression of surprise caught taking his next bite. Equally creative are the ghastly faces on the skewered chickens and fish. Donning a hilarious animal-ears bonnet and wearing bright blue fancy pants, the figure yearns more for a sympathetic eye than aims to be a symbol of fundamental truth. Filled with such humour and compassion, there is closeness between the artist and his food that comes alive for any viewer of this painting.