Huang Yuxing - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale Hong Kong Thursday, March 30, 2023 | Phillips
  • Fantastical and hypnotically mesmerising, Bubbles is an unapologetic celebration of Huang Yuxing’s deep reflection on the human experience in time and space, expressed in visual metaphors of organic life forms. Light, colour, movement, and depth are central to his visual expression. Presenting a dense flux of translucent bubbles in shades of saturated neons, this dreamy and almost psychedelic work is a prime example from Huang’s renowned Bubble series, revealing the artist’s focus on investigation the individual experience of life in parallel to the natural world.


    Neon Bursts of Life


    Huang’s artistic practice entails a long-running investigation into the individual’s life experience in parallel to the natural world. Stemming from reoccurring motifs of rivers and swirls in the artist’s oeuvre, the Bubble series discusses the topic of dissolution, demonstrating a sense of eternity that underlies the ephemeral existence of bubbles themselves. The human experience is visually represented as bubbles caught in various states of motion, as fleeting and volatile as the temporary existence of an individual’s life.

     "Neon represents the colour of our generation. Its vibrancy is something that no other colour spectra could ever rival: it carries with it a unique sense of import, like an outburst of living energy after a long period of repression."
    — Huang Yuxing

    Huang’s signature approach during this period was to superimpose geometric forms delineated in thinly veiled neon colours to create delicate depth and texture, which is well-demonstrated in Bubbles. Multiple dualities are juxtaposed in the picture, manifested effortlessly through the artist’s masterful command of colour, shape, and paint application. The bubbles’ varying degrees of translucency unveils the drapes for a magnificent play between light and dark, heaviness and lightness, density and space, stillness and movement.


    Brilliantly dynamic and effortless, the captivating Bubbles exemplifies highly individualized style that Huang Yuxing is recognized and celebrated for. It encompasses not only pungent visual stimuli, demonstration of masterful command of paint application, delineations of forms and depth, and rendering of light, but also an overflowing vitality that is omnipresent in Huang’s oeuvre, and the world that we live in.



    Detail of the present lot


    From Past to Future


    From Dutch Baroque painter Karel Dujardin, Pre-Raphaelite artist John Everett Millais, to Impressionist forefather Édouard Manet, the bubble trope has been a subject dear to artists through the ages, shining light on the simple joy and the transitoriness of life. A plain form such as a bubble can kindle the observation and reflection of a much greater presence that is beyond our sensory perceptions.



    Karel Dujardin, Boy Blowing Soap Bubbles. Allegory on the Transitoriness and the Brevity of Life, 1663
    Collection of Statens Museum for Kunst (National Gallery of Denmark)
    Image: Statens Museum for Kunst,, public domain


    Trained in the Mural Painting Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, Huang’s painting techniques owe much to that of traditional Chinese paintings.  his ability of morphing the latter into a modern appeal that comprise his unique abstract visual repertoire, testifying to the deep integration of his trainings and the discovery of his creative voice within.



    Xia Gui, Mountain Market, Clearing Mist, early 13th century
    Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
    Image: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1913

    The layers of bright acrylic paints are treated as layers of chiffon on Huang’s paintbrush, paying homage to the traditional Chinese painting concept of 'five shades of ink' (墨分五色), which refers to the technique of mixing varying amount of water into ink to yield nuanced tones and textures with only the colour of ink. Peeking through layers of translucent colour frenzy, the luminating background in Bubbles pulses with energy, presenting in a visual symphony of the impermanent vitality of life. Light-weight and delicate in appearance, bubbles are capable of gathering tremendous energy that can be unleashed into an exceptionally dynamic movement in an instant. The present work captures bubbles in a temporary moment of stillness, resting to build up tremendous energy until the cycle of ebb and flow starts again.


    Huang’s approach of zooming in on bubbles as a glimpse into the much larger movement that they are parts of, animating a simple component of the microcosm to metaphorize the force and momentum within the macrocosm that involve every living being on this planet. By presenting a visual language that straddles the line of being the traditional and the contemporary, Huang anchors a ground for his abstract narration to bloom and continuously evolve.



    Collector’s Digest 


    Huang Yuxing, Bubbles, 2017
    Sold by Phillips Hong Kong for HK$5,796,000, 7 June 2021
    © Huang Yuxing 
    • Born in 1975 in Beijing, Huang Yuxing graduated from the Mural Painting Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2000, and currently lives and works in his hometown. He was the first guest artist at the Yuz Museum Project Room in 2015 and has been extensively holding solo exhibitions since.
    • In 2020, Almine Rech has announced the representation of the artist in the United States, Europe, and the United Kingdom. Huang’s current exhibitions includes Heaps of Brocade and Ash at Almine Rech in Brussels (3 June – 31 July 2021), and Huang Yuxing, with Almine Rech Shanghai, 4 November - 3 December 2022 (works on paper). Scheduled for 3 November – 17 December 2022, his solo show titled An Absolute Power We Cannot Find at Almine Rech, New York marks Huang’s debut in the city.
    • Huang was invited to collaborate with Louis Vuitton for their 2021 ‘Artycapucines’ collection, joining the likes of Urs Fischer, Tschabalala Self, Liu Wei, Henry Taylor, Jonas Wood, and Alex Israel, to introduce their innovative aesthetic visions to the brand.
    • Huang’s first NFT project, Meta-morphic, was released online on 7 September 2022 and sold out within one minute of the launch.


    i Shu Wen, ‘Huang Yuxing: Painting is an intuition’, Artnow, May 2022, online

    • Provenance

      Private Collection, Asia



signed and dated 'HUANG. Yuxing 18' on the reverse
acrylic on canvas
150 x 200 cm. (59 x 78 3/4 in.)
Painted in 2018.

Full Cataloguing

HK$1,500,000 - 2,500,000 

Sold for HK$2,667,000

Contact Specialist

Charlotte Raybaud
Specialist, Head of Evening Sale
+852 2318 2026

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 30 March 2023