Author: FAN LIJUN 方力钧
Signed and dated: Painted in 2010-2011
Final Price: RMB 7,700,000
signed in Chinese and dated 2010-2011
2010 Fanglijun hronicles / P644 / culture and Art Press
2012 Art China Artist of the Year Fang Lijun / P66-67 Sichuan Fine Arts Publishing House
2010 Fang Lijun Solo Exhibition, Today Art Museum, Beijing
2010 Fang Lijun: An Accidental Myth: Tank Loft, Chongqing Contemporary Art Center, Chongqing
2011 Art of Faith: Surreal Pop, Enjoy Art Museum, Beijing
2011 From Symbol to the Analysis-Fang Lijun Solo Exhibition, Qu Jiang Art Museum, Xi’an
2012 Fang Lijun: Cloud Cliff, GAM Turin Contemporary Art Museum, Turin, Italy
2014 XiangJiang Running North-Tan Guobin and the Chinese Contemporary Art Collection Exhibition, Tan Guobin Art Museum, ChangSha
As a representative of China’s‘CynicalRealism’, Fang Lijun has a distinctive personal appearance and unrestrained creativity. The image of‘bald and naughty’ created by him has become one of the most recognizable symbols of Chinese contemporary art. In his art works, the image of‘bald and naughty’ is corresponding to the current social picture by Fang Lijun with his own original artistic vocabulary. At the same time, this picture also gives inspiration to the future. His paintings are inclined to the perspective of realism, rich in revolutionary thinking and the most simple and direct way, which provide a new dimension for Chinese contemporary art and tell the visual fables unique to our times.
Around 1993, the natural factor‘water’ began to play an increasingly important role in Fang Lijun’s works. In the artistic creation of this period, he painted a series of works about‘water’ and‘people in water’. In such works, Fang Lijun often uses heavy and repressive cold colors. Lonely swimmers float in the dark and unpredictable water. The characters are still the consistent‘bald’ image, and ambiguous light is projected on the floating human body. In the use of color, artists became pure and monotonous, and even directly adopted the form of black-and-white prints. In addition, different from the common head up perspective in previous works, artists often use the overhead composition when expressing this theme. For an artist, it seems that only in this way can he jump out of the mediocre daily reality, inquire about the original meaning of‘man’ from a higher point of view, and then express his confusion and doubt about the ultimate purpose of‘man’ itself and its value.
After entering the new century, Fang Lijun’s creation has returned to its symbolic‘gaudy color’. During this period, the painter got rid of the close-up representation in the past and adopted a broader panoramic composition to show the obvious grand narrative and metaphysical philosophical thinking. In 2010-2011 (Lot 1120), an important work of this period, the huge picture was filled with a huge blue vortex, turbulent water and splashing spray. In the center of this turbulent vortex, a group of colorful animals and children were floating and surrounded: frightened cattle and horses, struggling and Howling tigers and leopards, jubilant pigs, cunning orangutans, flying butterflies, birds and bats, The wolf with ferocious eyes, the tiger with ferocious roar, the rabbit with dull and cute face, and the flowers from gaudy to false. Of course, there is also the image of‘Bald headed’ children. In these children, it shows a natural contradiction. Although their young bodies are not yet fully mature, they have shown an appearance that is obviously incompatible with their age and similar to that of adults: a numb and dull smile, a seemingly sincere cry and a naked body. At the same time, behind the stereotyped smile, there is a trace of anxiety. As the artist said,‘when children laugh, they are also worried about the possibility of future pain’. In 2010-2011 (Lot 1120), we can’t tell who is the protagonist and who is the supporting actor. The only thing we can be sure of is that these humble people drift and sink in the world, and no one can control their own destiny. Here, the artist completely jumped out of the boring reality, and turned to an almost absurd magic realism to show the fate trajectory that all life must accept, and thus revealed the truth of the equality of all living beings for us.
For Fang Lijun’s creative turn after entering the millennium, The critic Zhang Qing pointed out the artist’s transformation in schema and artistic concept in magic reality - an analysis of Fang Lijun’s new works:‘At present, Fang Lijun’s artistic thinking and exploration are unusually clear and vivid, profound and more speculative. No doubt, Fang Lijun turned his attention to the basic attributes of life and the essence of life in the whole universe. On this basis, he analyzed the truth and falsehood, good and evil, beauty and ugliness in the world with the poetic charm and the spirit of seeking truth from facts, and sang human through the harmonious scenery of angels, babies, insects, god, man and beast, beast and God. The essence of these gods, human beings and animals can be epic unfolded and released in the magical schema, making them dance in the infinite space again. At this moment, you and I can only stand in the picture scroll of the magical world and watch with playful eyes the gods, people and animals move forward bravely along the same bright future.‘