Ma Han - Contemporary Art Part II New York Thursday, May 17, 2007 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Ma Han’s sculpture, “A Discussion of Mao about Art and Culture,” refers to
    Mao Zedong’s self-involved commentary on Chinese art and culture during
    the Cultural Revolution.When the work was shown at the Shanghai Art Fair
    in 2006, the authorities banned it from being displayed on the grounds that
    it was overly subversive.The title refers to Mao’s complex body of dogmatic
    theory on the role of arts and culture in China.This was one of the most
    contentious issues during the Communist Party’s reign, during which
    intellectuals were frequently persecuted and exiled. At the end of Mao’s
    reign, his rhetoric had become highly self-involved and irrational, his
    pronouncements driven by political power rather than ideology.

    Ma’s sculpture implies that by the end of the Great Leader’s reign, he
    himself was the only one who could fully comprehend the internal logic of
    his policies and rhetoric.The large central tangle of rice grains, wire, and
    the miniature peasants and workers walking on them represent the
    convolution of Mao’s thought and the traumatic dislocation caused to
    millions of Chinese citizens.The twin Mao heads facing each other (four as
    reflected in the accompanying mirrored base) imply that Mao, in his
    twilight years, was the only person who still saw logical reason in the
    arbitrary policies of the Cultural Revolution and the widespread suffering
    enacted therefrom.


A Discussion of Mao about Culture and Art No. 2

Fiberglass, rice, automotive paint, mirror with wooden pedestal.
58 x 128 x 32 in. (147.3 x 325.1 x 81.3 cm) overall.
Signed, titled, numbered of six and dated “‘A Discussion of Mao about Culture and Art No. 2 Ma Han 2006’” on underside of each head element; Signed “Ma Han” along interior fiberglass element. This work is from an edition of six.

$30,000 - 40,000 

Contemporary Art Part II

18 May 2007
10am & 2pm New York