Huang Yuxing - Modern & Contemporary Art Evening Sale Hong Kong Friday, May 31, 2024 | Phillips
  • “Whirlpools represent the trials and adversities of life; the river represents time and the journey of life; and bubbles represent the connection between living individuals and the universe. As my understandings of life are condensed and refined into painterly elements, a mutually inclusive relationship exists between the two, each echoing the other.”
    — Huang Yuxing
    Deceptively simple and straightforward in its title content, Huang Yuxing’s Bubbles yields a mesmerising vision to the viewer, layering subtle variations of shape and colour onto each other to produce a rich field of visual stimuli. Vast enough in size to fill their view completely, it offers enough striking combinations of lines and paints in every corner to never be monotonous, or bore with repeated examinations. Neither a cynical light show, or a lazy imitation of the Abstract Expressionists, it represents a spectacular cohesion of Huang’s influences, both artistic and spiritual -from the western Fauvists to his native China’s landscapes, to the spiritual outlook of Tibetan Buddhism- in a transcendentally vivid style that could only be his.



    Ephemeral Beauty

    The painting’s monumental size may be a testament to an early part of Huang’s artistic education: graduating from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in his native Beijing, he studied in the Mural Painting Department, which likely influenced his preference for grand, large-scale works. Unsatisfied with classroom education alone, his studies were paired with a long stay in Lhasa, where he immersed himself in Tibet’s culture and religion, and found a greater clarity of purpose. Not wanting to represent those traditions in ‘superficial’ ways, he has instead channelled their deeper messages into this, and his parallel River series: ‘The long river of history keeps flowing forward, people or other creatures live a short life and are swiftly extinguished, too many things are full of variables, and it all depends on what perspective you look at it from.’  


    Huang Yuxing, River, 2015. Sold by Phillips HK in December 2022.
    Artwork: © Huang Yuxing 

    This farsighted view of the world, with each life taking up a tiny part of history before others take its place, finds a perfect vehicle in the dainty bubbles, whose short but spectacular lives remind us how disposable, yet precious, everything in the world is.



    Modern Fluorescence
    “Fluorescent colors are colors that belong to our time, just as mineral colors belong to Dunhuang, to that period, when they pursued the stability of colors and the confrontation with time. And fluorescent colors are independent color systems that stimulate the senses and are unique to our time”.
    — Huang Yuxing

    Simultaneously, his ability to bend light, material, and colours in endlessly wonderful ways creates an entirely unique world of artistic vocabulary, evoking an ethereal and otherworldly effect. This was reached after encountering many personal difficulties: his early works were in a gloomier black-and-white style and upon experiencing financial downturns and yet another journey to the Himalayas in 2009, it prompted him to reintroduce a previously ‘repressed desire and understanding of color’ back into his work, finding it ‘even more intense and gorgeous than beforeii.

    To produce the most intense effects possible, the artist alters the viscosity of his paints drastically: sometimes leaving open pots out for a week to dry them thoroughly, then applying them under wetter oils to make them shine brighter. The surreal glow of his scenes, heightened by minute contrasts from stroke to stroke, has shades of the Post-Impressionists, and Huang has indeed cited Picasso and Van Gogh among his favourite artists.



    Vincent van Gogh, Wheat Field with Cypresses, 1889, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Image: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, The Annenberg Foundation Gift, 1993, 1993.132


    Collector’s Digest


    Born in 1975 in Beijing, Huang Yuxing studied mural painting at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, graduating in 2000. Following more severe initial work, he developed a distinctive ‘fluorescent’ style, influenced by Fauvism, Expressionism, and further spiritual studies in Tibet, that has won him worldwide prestige. Following two successful solo exhibitions at the Minsheng Modern Art Museum and the Yuz Museum in 2015, he has been honoured with further shows with Almine Rech in Brussels (2021) and New York (2022) and Galerie Perrotin in Hong Kong (2016), and most recently a career-wide retrospective at the Long Museum in Shanghai (West Bund, 2023-24). This has been accompanied with extraordinary sale results: at Phillips Hong Kong in March 2023 a similar work of his, also titled Bubbles (2018), exceeded its $1.5-2.5 million estimate, selling for $2.6 million HKD. High-profile commercial projects have also increased his statue, including a collaboration with Louis Vuitton in 2021 and an NFT project in 2022, which sold out within a minute of launching. In 2023, the artist collaborated with the Hermes-owned Chinese designer brand SHANG XIA and launched a limited-edition collection comprising of furniture and accessories, incorporating his representative artistic elements into the classic SHANG XIA home furnishings collection, in which his abstract aesthetics and detailed imageries are constructed. 



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

    ii Ibid.

    • Provenance

      Private Collection, Asia
      Acquired from the above by the present owner



signed and dated 'Huang Yuxing 18-19' on the reverse
acrylic on canvas
220 x 300 cm. (86 5/8 x 118 1/8 in.)
Painted in 2018-2019.

Full Cataloguing

HK$2,500,000 - 3,500,000 

Sold for HK$3,048,000

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Specialist, Head of Evening Sale
+852 2318 2027

Modern & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 31 May 2024