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

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present lot comes from the artist's "Gu's Phrase" project that creates a new "Chinese shorthand" by deconstructing and recontextualizing elements of the Chinese language. The artist creates imaginary words by marrying radicals of the Chinese language in unorthodox ways; the resulting ideograms appear Chinese but have no literal dictionary definition. Yet Gu's characters exploit deeply ingrained heuristics of the Chinese language so that readers of Chinese immediately discern the meaning of these made-up characters. "Happy Year of the Rat" is a traditional auspicious phrase used at the beginning of each Rat year in the Chinese zodiac. The zodiac denotes years in twelve-year cycles marked by different animals; the next Year of the Rat is 2008.


Happy Year of the Rat

Ink on paper.
37 1/2 x 70 in. (95.3 x 177.8 cm).
Signed, titled and dated "Gu Wenda Year of the Rat 2003" in Chinese characters and marked with two Chinese seals in red ink along the lower edge.

$40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for $36,000

Contemporary Art Part II

17 Nov 2006, 10am & 2pm
New York