He Xiangyu - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in Association with Poly Auction Hong Kong Thursday, December 3, 2020 | Phillips
  • Born in Liaoning in 1986, He Xiangyu has received much international attention as a contemporary Chinese artist. He pays special attention to the mechanisms and structural relationships of capital operations in a global context. Through messages gleaned from conversions between various forms of media, he inspires critical reflections from viewers while seeking to unveil the truth of the world to the public. His unique creative philosophies earned him the 10th CCAA Best Young Artist Award (2016). In 2019, he also represented China at the 58th Venice Biennale. We are honoured to include his canvas artwork, Untitled from the Lemon Project in this auction. Making its debut in the auction market, this painting features the artist’s continued focus on the symbolic meaning of objects. He connects the visual and gustatory senses by drawing on the effect of synesthesia, creating a painting that triggers the viewers’ taste response.


    He Xiangyu in his studio in Berlin
    He Xiangyu in his studio in Berlin

     Throughout his art career, He Xiangyu has persistently explored projects related to energy conversions between objects or guided perceptions. For his first project, Cola Project, he created landscape and calligraphy installations from the boiled residue of Coca-Cola. Subsequently, he launched the Tank Project, which continuing to explore issues such as consumerism and the globalisation of capital flows. Palate Project realised the transition from tactile perceptions to visual expressions via personal exploration. He’s first work that featured yellow and lemon evolved from the synesthesia experiment of the Palate Project in 2015. Based upon that, he launched the Lemon Project. In Untitled, about 30 pencil-outlined lemons are scattered across a monochrome background of neon yellow. The optical illusion constructed by the super bright colour generates aggressive visual stimulation, which in turn causes visual fatigue for the viewers and eventually transforms into an instant response akin to a sour taste in the mouth. The chain reaction forms a taste response similar to tasting lemons in our daily life. .Using visual perception to guide gustatory perception in his creations, He’s breakthrough means the successful integration of another sensory stimulus into two-dimensional paintings.

    • Provenance

      Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York
      Acquired from the above by the present owner



signed and dated 'He Xiang yu 2018' on the reverse
pencil and acrylic on canvas
110.2 x 80 cm. (43 3/8 x 31 1/2 in.)
Executed in 2018.

Full Cataloguing

HK$180,000 - 300,000 

Sold for HK$441,000

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Associate Specialist, Head of Day Sale

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in Association with Poly Auction

Hong Kong Auction 4 December 2020