Kristy M Chan - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in association with Yongle Hong Kong Tuesday, November 29, 2022 | Phillips

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  • "It's gone through being about these beautiful Chinese wooden chandelier, to me just being straight up angry at the painting, to it being about opening the front door with a kitchen knife, and now perhaps some monumental gate and gatekeeping?"
    —Kristy Chan on Chandelier and Dim Sum Buffet

    Born in Hong Kong in 1997, Kristy M Chan is a London-based artist who is garnering significant attention in the art world for her expressive canvases composed of glorious colour and texture. Describing her works as ‘stolen realties’, Chan’s paintings masterfully negotiate the balance between abstraction and figuration as she explores the mundanity of everyday life and the ever-changing emotions she experiences. 




    A timelapse of the artist composing the present work
    Courtesy of the artist’s Instagram: @kristychanart


    Impressive in scale, Chandelier and Dim Sum Buffet is a superb example of her distinctive style. Inspiration behind the work’s conception sparked during a dinner at Hong Kong’s renowned China Club, where Chan noticed a glistening antique Chinese chandelier that was dramatically radiating light and shadow around the room. Using oil paint and oil bar on canvas, she began to compose the piece, however after initially devising the work, she took a three-week break from her studio practice as she pondered over how best to reapproach the developing composition. During this time, Chan found herself in an unusual and somewhat scary situation where she relied on a sharp kitchen knife to unlock a tightly stuck door at home, later explaining how ‘in the end, the kitchen knife saved the day.’ 


    Synthesising this visceral incident into Chandelier and Dim Sum Buffet, perhaps through the waterfall of sunset-purple strokes that confidentially cascade down with movement we can imagine being executed in real-time, the final composition came into its full realisation. Charged with energy that unfolds in a rush of dynamic colour, broad sweeps of apricot and lime green frame layers of dark violet that intensify at the centre as if pulling the viewer into a vortex. Brushstrokes oscillate between foreground and background in seemingly endless ways, showcasing an attuned sensitivity to rhythm, painterly depth, and surface detail, that in many ways recall the spiritual dimensions of Wassily Kandinsky’s lyrical abstractions. 


    At the same time, however, as inspiration comes to Chan directly from her memories and feelings, through incorporating autobiographical elements into her paintings, the viewer is encouraged to try and seek out figurative hints hidden within the mix. 


    Wassily Kandinsky, Improvisation No. 19, 1911, Stadische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich
    Image: © Peter Willi / Bridgeman Images


    "It’s like I’m my own flâneur, observing my own experiences with people, then layering these different memories on a canvas, or “stolen realities” as I like to call them."
    —Kristy Chan

    Chan’s triumph of this visceral approach has earned the young artist recognition by numerous galleries who have shown her work. Most recently, this has included Soho Revue in London (2021); HART HAUS in Hong Kong (2021); and Lichtspiele Des Westen in Leipzig (2020). 


    The Artist Room hosted a solo show titled Kristy Chan: Totally Not in London between 8 December 2021 – 15 January 2022, of which Chandelier and Dim Sum Buffet was included. More recently, Chan was the subject of a collaborative solo exhibition hosted by Simon Lee Gallery and The Artist Room. Titled Binge, the exhibition ran from 12 October - 12 November 2022 in both galleries’ locations in London. 


    The present work exhibited at London, The Artist Room, Kristy M Chan: Totally Not, 8 December 2021 – 15 January 2022

    • Provenance

      The Artist Room, London
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      London, The Artist Room, Kristy M Chan: Totally Not, 8 December 2021 – 15 January 2022


Chandelier and Dim Sum Buffet

signed, titled and dated 'Kristy M Chan [in English and Chinese] 2021. "Chandelier and Dim Sum Buffet."' on the reverse
oil and oil bar on canvas
175 x 150 cm. (68 7/8 x 59 in.)
Executed in 2021.

Full Cataloguing

HK$80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for HK$201,600

Contact Specialist

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

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in association with Yongle

Hong Kong Auction 30 November 2022