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  • Provenance

    Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong

  • Catalogue Essay

    Tang comes from an army family, and was a soldier his whole adult life,
    up until his recent resignation. To be in the army is a very common
    condition in China, and, with the exception of wartime, it tends to be a rather
    privileged social position. PLA men and women are mainly able to lead
    a very normal life, although they need to repay their comparatively
    comfortable daily routine with the obligation to wear the uniform, at least
    sometimes, and to attend an endless number of meetings. The complex
    Chinese communist social structure, based on group activities, political
    education, bureaucratic rules, establishment of standards and propaganda
    patterns, is most evident within the PLA, one of its most orthodox
    organizations. PLA members are supposed to serve as models, and to give
    direction to the masses.

    Having been entitled to such privileges and burdens for almost 30 years, no
    wonder Tang is obsessed with a certain stale regime's iconography, such as
    the 'meeting' and the 'group photo'…

    Chinese are particularly skilled when it comes to arranging such activities as
    conferences and meetings: everything is prepared in advance and every
    aspect is taken into consideration, from disposition of the participants
    according to hierarchy, to what drinks to serve. The most official meetings,
    with tables covered with red cloth, banners hung on the walls (which in
    Tang's works intentionally carry no slogans, so as to stress how pointless
    were the endless ideological campaigns) and neat porcelain cups filled with
    hot tea, have become in the artist's iconography the symbol of an era: an era
    of orthodoxy and propaganda, when political power meant everything.

    (M. Dematte, “Meeting in Painting,” Italy, Feb. 2004.)

158

Children in a Meeting

2000
Oil on canvas.
45 x 57 1/2 in. (114.3 x 146.1 cm).
Signed and dated “Tang 2000” lower right; signed, inscribed and dated in English “Tang Zhigang, 114 x 146 cm 2000, 11.13” and “‘oil on canvas’ Beijing Fine Arts AcademyTang Zhigang” in Chinese characters on the reverse.

Estimate
$80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for $312,000

Contemporary Art Part II

18 May 2007
10am & 2pm New York