Ni Youyu - Modern & Contemporary Art Day Sale Hong Kong Saturday, June 1, 2024 | Phillips
  • Ni Youyu, born in 1984 in Jiangxi, China, graduated from the Chinese Painting Department of the Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts in 2007. However, upon graduation, he radically veered away from traditional Chinese painting and embarked on a journey to explore a diverse range of art forms from scratch. His art encompasses oil painting, acrylic painting, sculpture, installation, collage, photography, and more. For him, being an artist never means new creations, but an exploration and reinterpretation of the world.


    While travelling, Ni enjoys lingering around art museums and local flea markets. He has collected antiques from different places, which span across centuries. The antique frame used for this work is one of those curiosities. Ni’s art draws inspiration from Joseph Cornell. In addition, as both his parents were college teachers of science and engineering subjects, Ni has been exposed to various architectural and mechanical components since childhood. Ni’s work thus intricately interweaves the beauty of rationality that owes to the orderly structure of geometry and an archaic sensibility left by the passage of time on objects.


    The present lot was created in 2020, during the global pandemic when quarantine policies implemented by countries forced ordinary people into a sense of imprisonment. Ni’s working space was also reduced to the limited area of his dining table, where the artist would eat, read, and paint. Consequently, he began to ponder upon the relationship between the various interior spaces and human beings, producing approximately ten paintings, including the present lot, which collectively form the Ancient Bedroom series. The layout of the bedroom draws upon compositions from the early Renaissance to the nineteenth century, such as the religious paintings by Fra Angelico, also engaging with the controversial work My Bed by Tracey Emin.


  • Ni Youyu was awarded the “Best Young Artist” at the Chinese Contemporary Art Awards (CCAA) in 2014. In 2019, he held a solo exhibition Ni Youyu at the Yuz Museum in Shanghai. In 2022, his solo exhibition Dome and Scale: Ni Youyu Solo Exhibition, curated by Zhu Zhu, was presented at the He Art Museum. His work has been collected by public collections, including the Brooklyn Museum in New York, Sigg Collection in Switzerland, M+ Museum in Hong Kong, Yuz Museum in Shanghai, and Singapore Art Museum.

    • Provenance

      Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner


The 14th Day

signed 'NI' lower right; further dated '2020-12-1' lower left quadrant
acrylic on canvas, in artist's frame
work 14 x 18 cm. (5 1/2 x 7 1/8 in.)
frame 31.5 x 35.5 cm. (12 3/8 x 13 7/8 in.)

Painted on 1 December 2020.

Full Cataloguing

HK$60,000 - 90,000 

Sold for HK$177,800

Contact Specialist

Anastasia Salnikoff
Associate Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+852 2318 2014

Modern & Contemporary Art Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 1 June 2024