Mao Tongqiang - Contemporary Art London Thursday, June 21, 2007 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private collection, Beijing

  • Catalogue Essay

    Files has its origins in twentieth-century Chinese history when, with mass motion all over the country, campaigns and criticisms, many individuals literally disappearaed. The echo is this was rekindled with the dramatic changes in the era of reform. As China’s economy bloomed and consumerism thrived, large numbers of people were seduced away from the land, from their native villages. Without residency permits for legal tenure in the cities, they became invisible… It is their faces that Mao Tongqiang reproduces on canvas in the indistinct way that missing persons’ photographs often are, as the only record of a life. These images are juxtaposed with an imitation of bureaucratic seals and notes, first in “opening” the case, and then, when no results are forthcoming, “cancelling.” (K. Smith, The First Guangzhou Triennale, Reinterpretation: A Decade of Experimental Chinese Art , Guangzhou, 2001, p. 208)


Death Files 810

Oil and spray paint on canvas.
77 1/2 x 77 1/2 in. (196.9 x 196.9 cm).

£8,000 - 12,000 

Contemporary Art

22 June 2007, 4pm & 5pm