527
527
Liu Ye
ROMANCE
Estimation
5 800 0007 800 000
Lot. Vendu 9,415,000 HKD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT
527
Liu Ye
ROMANCE
Estimation
5 800 0007 800 000
Lot. Vendu 9,415,000 HKD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art

|
Hong Kong

Liu Ye
B. 1964
ROMANCE
signed in Chinese and Pinyin and dated 2001
acrylic on canvas
150 by 150 cm; 59 by 59 in.
Lire le rapport d'état Lire le rapport d'état

Provenance

Private Asian Collection (acquired directly from the artist) 

Exposition

London, Chinese Contemporary Gallery, Liu Ye: Fellini, A Guardsman, Mondrian, The Pope and My Girlfriend, 2001, pp. 7 & 25, illustrated in colour
Beijing, Asia Art Center, The Power of the Universe: The Frontier of Contemporary Chinese Art, 2007, pp. 141-42, illustrated in colour

Bibliographie

Post-Motherism/Stepmotherism: A Close Look at Contemporary Chinese Culture and Art, Beijing, 2002, p. 76, illustrated in colour
Haung Liaoyuan, "Liu Ye and His Paintings", Artist (February 2003), p. 74, illustrated in colour
Liu Ye: Red, Yellow, Blue, exh. cat. Schoeni Art Gallery, Hong Kong, 2003, pp. 10 & 74
Ding Ying, "'Naughty Boy' Liu Ye and His Fairyland", Modern Weekly 282 (May 2004), p. 42
Zhang Lihao, "Sotheby's Hong Kong Chinese Contemporary Art Sale", Art Magazine (March 2008), pp. 94-5, illustrated in colour
N.N., "Don't panic, guys!", Hi Art (May 2008), p. 59, illustrated in colour
Huang Liaoyuan, "Liu Ye and His Soft, Childlike 'Cartoon' Paintings", Beijing Star Daily (September 2009), p. 5 (detail), illustrated in colour
Liu Ye Catalogue Raisonné 1991-2015, Hatje Cantz, Germany, 2015, p. 300, illustrated in colour

Description

Set against the dramatic background of a crimson red sunset, an elegant ballet couple stands in a triumphant end pose on top of a mountain that towers above the clouds. This captivating scene, that is powerfully depicted in Liu Ye’s Romance from 2001, perfectly fuses many of the different facets of the artist’s practice that have made his paintings highly sought-after. The convergent influences of Asian and European art-history, as well as the artist’s own lived experience, are here captured in a seductively beautiful composition.

Unlike many of his Chinese contemporaries, Liu Ye's work developed independently of any of the dominant schools, be it Cynical Realism or Political Pop, that developed in the 1990s. During this pivotal period in China's recent history, the artist was completing his studies in Germany and his work stands alone as an individual, personal vision eloquently laced with the political environment intrinsic to his upbringing.

As Romance demonstrates, Liu Ye’s work is in equal measure inspired by his upbringing in China, here represented by the surrounding landscape which is reminiscent of traditional Chinese landscape painting, as his encounters with Western art-history. It has been suggested that The Nutcracker, the fairytale ballet composed by Tchaikovsky in 1891-92, inspired this work. Just as in the ballet where Clara and the Prince travel from reality into the Land of the Sugar Plum Fairy, in Liu Ye's work too the pair of dancers are set amid a fairytale wonderland. Equally important is the dominant presence of the intense red colour in Romance, which is an important feature in many of the artist’s paintings. Aside from being the colour of love, red is symbolic for Communist China and has associations with anger, danger and bloodshed – but is also a symbol for good luck and success. For Liu Ye the colour is loaded with political connotations, as red is the prevailing memory of his youth in China: "I grew up in a world of red: the red sun, red flags, red scarves, with green pines and sunflowers often supporting the red symbols" (the artist cited by Anna Sansom in 'The Beautiful and the Banned' in Whitewall, Fall 2006, p. 66).

Executed in 2001, Romance stands as a testament to the height of the artist’s creative powers. During this year, Liu Ye would for the first time work on a monumental scale and produce paintings over two meters in width, attesting to a newfound confidence. After a decade of experimentation and refining his artistic voice, his paintings had now been stripped down to powerful, large-scale compositions that immediately captivate the viewer. As the artist explained: “I want to strip away as much of the feeling, narrative and plot as possible and rely on the foundations of the painting like scale, colour scheme and composition” (Liu Ye in conversation with Philip Tinari in: Christoph Noe, Ed., Liu Ye: Catalogue Raisonné 1991-2015, Ostfildern 2015, p. 50).

Depicting a lovingly romantic scene, set to the dramatic backdrop of a stunning sunset above a beautiful Chinese landscape, Romance encapsulates Liu Ye’s distinctive artistic voice, in both aesthetic and subject matter. With its use of the artist’s characteristic crimson red, and executed on a scale that demonstrates the confidence of the artist’s mastery of his medium, Romance is an exceptional example of Liu Ye’s accomplished oeuvre.

Contemporary Art

|
Hong Kong