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  • “Fluorescent colour is the colour of our generation. There is no such colour system in traditional easel paintings. It is special, like a vigorous vitality being compressed or unleashed. This was the colour and the feeling that I needed.”  — Huang Yuxing

     

    Born in 1975 and based in Beijing, Central Academy of Fine Arts graduate Huang Yuxing is known for his fantastical, fluorescent scenes of meditation. Though the natural world has long been his chief subject matter, Huang’s works concern themselves less with the artificial mimesis of landscape, focusing instead on the symbolism and metaphors within.

     

    Devoted to the process of creation itself, Huang superimposes layer upon layer of acrylic and oil, emphasizing the textures and relationships created by the coalescing of colour and brushstroke. As such, the richness of his works lies in their dynamism as they transverse the boundary between the public and the private, the figurative and the abstract. Huang’s fascination for water, for example, and the numerous forms it can occupy, is an exploration not only of its physical mutability, but also its metaphysical nature. In the transfiguration of water to mist, bubbles or streams, one finds a metaphor for the coexistence of the eternal and the ephemeral, and in its boundless flow one finds a symbol for the unyielding passage of time.

     

     

    Edvard Munch, Anxiety, 1894
    Collection of the Munch Museum, Oslo

     

    Taking his inspiration from Marlene Dumas while also utilising and building upon a traditional Chinese realist technique — 'gongbi zhongcai' — Huang’s works display a combination of meticulous brushwork and intense colouration. Still, Huang’s paintings escape the confines of tradition, charged with an ardent desire to renew viewer perceptions of reality and unreality. In their swirling amalgamation of neon tones the viewer finds themselves transported into a cosmos of pure psychedelia, transfixed by a confusion of proportion and form. Minute objects are enlarged, as cells and pores undergo such immense magnification that they appear instead as landscapes, sometimes morphing into the contours of a human face, sometimes into the very swells and crevices of streaming rivers or erect mountains. In his hands, reality is manipulated and distorted beyond easy recognition.

     

    The eruptive expressionism of his work finds its historical roots in the years of liberation following the wake of the Cultural Revolution, where Huang bore witness to the unshackling of social and sexual constraints. His mercurial palette and depictions of landscapes as colourscapes recall the dreamlike renditions of water by Monet, while also taking on the lurid tone of Edvard Munch’s psychologically charged skies.

     

     

    Claude Monet, Water Lilies, 1916-19
    Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

       

    Armed with a visual language which aims to deepen and transform his subject matter, Huang works with the ferocity of adolescent rebellion and revelry. Building tension on the canvas with the juxtaposition and coupling of physiological and psychological elements, Huang’s 'structuralist architecture'i is a meditation on the expansive potential of the individual. As Huang said, "One’s history and its course are manipulated and controlled by so many things external to life", and bodily structures are the few things which 'can stand against such manipulation'ii .

     

    The current work, Sunrise, displays no less an attitude of cathartic release than the rest of Huang’s oeuvre. Across the canvas run strips of acidic pink and purple, as oval shapes bleed yellow and green, morphing sometimes into decorative curls and sometimes into the spirals of rippling water. One gets the faint impression of a rising sun refracted and reformed through multiple dimensions. In the symmetry of its undulations the work settles into a gentle rhythm of contraction and release, as if harnessing the cosmic energy of the star itself. Less a landscape and more a study of the relationships between colour, this work is a fantastic example of Huang’s masterly manipulation of form and reality.

     

     

    i Zhu Zhu, press release for ‘Alluvial’, Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum, October 2015, online

    ii Huang Yuxing, as quoted in Wu Sijie, ‘Huang Yuxing “And Ne Forthetedon Ná”’, Galerie Perrotin, 2016, online

    • Provenance

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

ULTRA/NEO

Ж132

Sunrise

signed and dated ‘Huang Yuxing 16’ lower right
acrylic on canvas
100 x 150 cm. (39 3/8 x 59 in.)
Painted in 2016.

Full Cataloguing

Estimate
HK$600,000 - 800,000 
€68,000-90,600
$76,900-103,000

Sold for HK$1,512,000

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+852 2318 2027
[email protected]

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

Hong Kong Auction 29 November 2021