Huang Yuxing - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in Association with Poly Auction Hong Kong Sunday, June 6, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Bubbles, by contemporary Chinese artist Huang Yuxing, entrances the viewer with a hypnotic flurry of fluorescent ovular shapes. Huang Yuxing strongly deviates from the prevailing artistic tendency to portray sociopolitical imagery, unlike his many of his contemporaries who seek to express their disillusionment with China’s period of relentless urbanisation since the 1970s in literal form. Instead, he translates the changing topography into a pictorial force of explosively painted ‘bubbles’ born out of a rushing river, an ethereal sensory experience visually captured in motion.


    The painting’s unique artistic language epitomises Huang’s formative River and Bubbles series, which engage with the fantastical ‘rivers’ of time and life. Huang’s artistic practice entails a long-running investigation into the individual’s life experience in parallel to the natural world. Human sensations are personified as bubbles caught in motion, as fleeting and volatile as the temporary existence of an individual’s life. Huang’s un-blended, neon palette speaks to the vivacious, fast-paced nature of our generation, and infuses traces of the human presence in the saturated, almost chemical outlines of these bubbles. This frenetic visualisation distorts our perception of time and space, and emphasising the ephemerality of the human presence. Translucent, shimmering ovular contours slowly fade into the picture just before dissolving into the rapid river, evoking the vitality and increasingly tumultuous pace of our generation’s presence.


    Bubbles Huang Yuxing
    Detail of the present lot

    Huang builds up this volatile energy in the landscape of his painting, stacking multiple bubbles across the work. Translucent layers of acrylic paint in electrifying colours and tonalities accentuate the spatial relationships of depth and form. While Bubbles phantasm of mobility and wild colour may at first emulate an expressionistic attitude, the elements of the painting are incredibly sharp and clear, with a detailed construction of dimension. Each bubble is meticulously painted and nods to the influence of traditional Chinese gongbi realist technique. The warped representation of natural elements positions the painting between the worlds of realism and abstraction, revealing compelling perceptions of contemporary life through a modern, fluorescent lens.


    The impressive light and dynamism of Huang Yuxing’s works recall the artistic oeuvre of Giacomo Balla and the Futurists in early 20th century Italy. The artistic and social movement celebrated the power of man-made innovations such as the car, the airplane and, at times, the heady violence of war. Prefiguring Huang Yuxing’s artistic response to the urbanisation of China, Balla and the Futurists veered towards chaotic portrayals of speed, industrialism and modernity, combining colours and abstracted forms to animate the picture of a vibrant city.


    Bubbles illustrates Huang Yuxing’s profound experience of space and the elusive nature of time, a quintessential testament to the artist’s intuitive meditation on the essence of personal contemporary experiences.


    Giacomo Balla, Drawing for Textiles
    Giacomo Balla, Drawing for Textiles, 1925, Courtesy of the Estorick Collection


    • Provenance

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



signed and dated 'Huang Yuxing 17' lower right
acrylic on canvas
115 x 150.5 cm. (45 1/4 x 59 1/4 in.)
Painted in 2017.

Full Cataloguing

HK$550,000 - 750,000 

Sold for HK$5,796,000

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 7 June 2021