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

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  • “Every piece of work is like a child… Most of the pieces carry emotional attachment. They tell the story of my life.”
    — Li Chen 

    Li Chen was born in Taiwan in 1963, and is known internationally as one of the most accomplished contemporary sculptors, honing the remarkable skill of creating divine figures that delicately mesh the spiritual and the sculptural. Within his celebrated oeuvre, celestial, otherworldly characters—ranging from the miniature to the monumental—signify the union between heaven and man. Informed by his intense, dedicated commitment to Buddhist philosophy, Taoist teachings, and Chinese literature, Li’s work explores both higher realms and spiritual meaning. Masterfully crafted, his figures possess a meditative quality through the core values of purity and inner peace that they embody, leaving a lasting impression on the viewer of both wisdom and serenity.


    Another example of the present work exhibited at Shanghai, Aurora Museum, Through the Ages - Li Chen Solo Exhibition, October 2018 - January 2019


    Strongly influenced by philosophy, Chan’s works perfectly balance what is intrinsic and what is transcendental. There is a push and pull effect that comes from this synthetisation in the viewer’s mind, which cannot be described merely as tension. In fact, Li’s sculptures, as exemplified by the present work, only appear completely serene and mentally resolved because they stimulate tranquil weightlessness to convey the transcendence of enlightenment.


    "In the Tang dynasty, the Buddhist sculptures were round and complete. Instead of being empty, they were full. To me, the fatness of my sculptures means tolerance and diversity. They are big and include all human beings…They are filled with the abundance of the world."
    — Li Chen

    There is a clear sense of both childlike innocence and timeless wisdom to be found in Li Chen's art. If sculpture reinforces our own humanity, then Li's work certainly does this in full, imbued with a sense of humor, limitless energy, and a generosity of spirit that critics observe as contrasting the more densely executed sculptures seen throughout the history of Western art. Indeed, Li’s sincere embrace of Buddhist concepts and other spiritual influences reflect exquisitely in his work, encouraging the viewer to see the wisdom of seeking peace in our beautiful yet turbulent world.

    • Provenance

      Asia Art Center, Taipei
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      Venice, 52nd International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, Energy of Emptiness, 10 June - 21 November 2007, pp. 142-143, 219 (another example exhibited and illustrated)
      Singapore Art Museum, Li Chen: Mind, Body, Spirit, September - December 2009, pp. 88-89, 184 (another example exhibited and illustrated)
      Shanghai, Aurora Museum, Through the Ages - Li Chen Solo Exhibition, October 2018 - January 2019 (another example exhibited)

    • Literature

      Asia Art Center, ed., 1992-2002 Li Chen Sculpture, Taipei, 2004, pp. 90-91 (another example illustrated)
      Asia Art Center, ed., Li Chen: In Search of Spiritual Space, Solo Exhibition at the National Art Museum of China, 2008, pp. 72-75, 197 (another example illustrated)
      Asia Art Center, ed., Soul Guardians: Li Chen Sculpture, Taipei, 2009, p. 40 (another example illustrated)
      Asia Art Center, ed., Greatness of Spirit: Li Chen, Premiere Sculpture Exhibition in Taiwan, 2012, p. 158 (another example illustrated)
      Asia Art Center, ed., Through the Ages-Li Chen, 2019, pp. 45, 64 (another example illustrated)


The Buddha in the Cloud

incised with the artist's name, seal and numbered ‘2002 Li Chen 13/30’ on the reverse
49 x 35 x 21 cm. (19 1/4 x 13 3/4 x 8 1/4 in.)
Executed in 2002, this work is number 13 from an edition of 30, and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by Asia Art Centre, Taipei.

Full Cataloguing

HK$200,000 - 500,000 

Sold for HK$655,200

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