Lot 603
  • 603

He Xiangyu

500,000 - 700,000 HKD
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  • He Xiangyu
  • 300g Gold, 62g Protein
  • copper, gold and egg
  • executed in 2013


HDM Gallery, Beijing
Acquired by the present owner from the above

Catalogue Note

All That Glitters

300g Gold, 62g Protein (Lot 603) consists of a solid gold egg carton cradling a single ordinary egg—an elegant, simple yet powerful piece that confronts the viewer with its jarring juxtaposition of vast wealth against basic nourishment and luxury against deprivation. A key representative of a pivotal new generation of young Chinese conceptual artists, He Xiangyu’s iconic gold egg cartons satirise the excess of materialist culture and questions the way value and meaning is assigned to objects. The rows of empty carton pockets glow softly with the indulgent luminosity of extravagance, constituting a shrewd statement on wealth inequality and an inversion of society’s deeply engrained value system. The work also carries cultural specific references, specifically to the single child policy that profoundly shaped the artist’s own generation.

He Xiangyu is a fast-rising star in the art world known for his provocative oeuvre of ambitious conceptual work. The artist’s headline-grabbing Cola Project in 2008 involved him boiling down 127 tons of Coca Cola over the course of a year. The resulting material residue took various forms including a highly corrosive and pungent earth-like substance, which the artist used to create Song Dynasty-style landscape paintings. Equally powerful is his Tank Project (2011-2013), a life-size yet deflated and collapsed military tank made entirely of luxury Italian leather. Hand-sewn by an entire factory of female needle workers over two years, the statement piece satirises the unrelenting advancement of Western consumerism in contemporary China and highlights interdependencies in political and economic power.

Artist Biography

He Xiangyu (b. 1986, China) graduated from the Oil Painting Department of Shenyang Normal University in 2008. Since then his work has been featured in major group exhibitions worldwide including “Fire and Forget” at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2015); the 13th Biennale de Lyon in France (2015); the 10th Shanghai Biennale (2014) and “28 Chinese”, an exhibition hosted by the Rubell Family Collection in Miami (2013), amongst others. The artist has also held solo exhibitions in SCAI the Bathhouse, Tokyo; White Space, Beijing; Kunstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral, Bad Ems, Germany; Loft Art Gallery, Paris, and Wall Art Museum, Beijing. His works have been included in renowned collections such as the Rubell Family Collection; Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland; the Pinault Collection, France; the Long Museum, Shanghai and the Mercator Foundation, Essen, Germany.