Rong Rong - Contemporary Art Part II New York Friday, November 17, 2006 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist

  • Exhibited

    New York, Chambers Fine Art, "Ruin Picture: Rong Rong," January 23–March 10, 2001

  • Catalogue Essay

    Rong Rong is perhaps the most omnipresent and poetic witness to urban Beijing's transformation. As a founding member of the Beijing East Village art community, he documented its everyday life as well as groundbreaking avant-garde performances by his fellow artists. "East Village Beijing No. 46 (Lot 299) features two now-distinguished artists in their early years: Xing Danwen photographs Ma Liuming during one of Ma's performances. In Rong's "Ruin" series, the artist captures Beijing's irreversible modernization by juxtaposing the frail structures of tradition with spectrally glamorous fantasies of the new. "The ghostly figures that pose for us in Rong Rong's photos seem oblivious to the fact that their world has crumbled to dust... Now their dreams and desires rise from the rubble, transformed into their own doomed doubles. Standing in what has become an abandoned graveyard, covered in dirt and frayed at the edges, they try to appear seductive, unable to comprehend what they have been." (D. Spalding, Ghosts "Among the Ruins: Urban Transformations in Contemporary Chinese Art," p. 100) In the desolate urban wasteland of "No. 2(2) Beijing" (Lot 297), an incorporeal womanin a lavish Western gown watches over a past that exists, perhaps, only in our imgination. "No. 2 Beijing (Lot 298) poignantly captures the crumbling facade of an expensively carved and gilded ornamental wall. The mythical twin dragons, highly auspicious symbols of power and imperial authority, appear oblivious to their surrounding ruins as they mischievously trade bellows of fire over a contested toy.


No. 2 (2) Beijing (Ruins Series)

Hand-dyed gelatin silver print.
18 1/8 x 20 7/8 in. (46 x 53 cm).
Signed and titled in Chinese characters; titled again and numbered of 20 and dated "1997 No. 2(2)" on the reverse and along lower edge; signed again "Rong Rong" on the reverse. This work is from an edition of 20.

$5,000 - 8,000 

Contemporary Art Part II

17 Nov 2006, 10am & 2pm
New York