Xiang Jing - BRIC Theme Sale London Friday, April 23, 2010 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Jack Tilton Gallery, New York

  • Exhibited

    London, Saatchi Gallery, The Revolution Continues: New Chinese Art, 9 October 2008 - 18 January 2009, (another example exhibited)

  • Literature

    Exhibition catalogue, Saatchi Gallery, London, The Revolution Continues: New Chinese Art, pp. 242 - 245, (another example illustrated); Keep in Silent - Xiang Jing, 2005, pp. 22, 36, 63-67, (another example illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present lot, Your body, is of pivotal importance in Xiang Jing's career. Dating from 2005, this hyperrealistic, psychologically expressive sculpture marks the start of a new chapter in her practice - the virgin series. A three-metre-high seated female nude, formerly exhibited prominently at London's Saatchi Gallery, Your Body is hand-made from start to finish, and represents the first time the artist had ever worked on such a scale. Xiang originally chose to work in fibreglass - rather than the more traditional wood, metal or marble - because of the material's relative affordability. Later she continued to work with the medium because of the subtle colour options it offers;  for instance as opposed to the voluptuous pink of a new born infant, Your Body's ivory-pale skin toned captures a subdued, cold and enduring silence. Yet despite this seeming passivity, the oversized subject, with her unremakable features and perpetually vacuous gaze, displays  the scar on her lower abdomen with extreme candour.
    "I [overflowed] with inspiration and energy and she was created in a very short period of time. I left her eyes to the end and when she was almost finished, I held a stick and stood [away] from her, turned quickly [to] where her eyes should be, and stood [away] from her, turned quickly [to] where her eyes should be, and it turned out exactly how I wanted. I was thrilled and promised myself to stop working on her"
    (Xiang Jing, interview with Wang Yin, Southern Weekly, 10 March 2006)
    "Your Body is a perishable gift...it retains an acute injury mark: scars on the abdomen imply possibly appendicitis and subsequent surgery, wounds of sharp blade; this life-saving wound somehow harmoniously co-exists with lasting pain and remorse. On the other hand, the memories of the body, the swelling curves, accumulating fat and sagging breasts uncompromisingly denote the scar of passing years. This wound not only reveals the body's fatigue, but also divulges the bod's emptiness and helplessness. As time goes by, she grows as well as decays."
    (Gao Shiming, Poetics of Body - Review of Xiang Jing's Sculpture, Tang Contemporary, Beijing)
    Xiang started work on the virgin series after relocating to Shanghai in 1999. Springing from her feelings at moving into a fast-paced cosmopolitan city, these pieces capture the disjoint loneliness of newly urbanized women in modern Chinese society. They depict mainly naked, pre-adolescent females in various awkward positions, empathizing with both their internal and external discomforts - an exposure which exudes much power. The body is incapable of lying; it tells us everything, candidly. Hinting the secrets of the creator, it is a medium for the outside world to communicate with a soul which is unreachable otherwise. The present lot, which confronts the contemporary perception of beauty and femininity, shares certain concerns with Xiang's western contemporary, Jenny Saville. Both depict non-standard and exaggerated figures; their attitude seems to critique not only the prelapsarian body, but also contemporary stereotypes of 'perfect form'.
    Xiang is dedicated to creating situations - the psychological atmosphere surrounding individual works. Your body grabs the audience like a snapshot in time. On her message board at www.x-q.com, Xiang has stated: 'I'm most concerned about the deepest part of human nature, I never wanted to make works which others cannot understand; I want to try to communcate with other lonely individuals and their souls. If you cast aside the technicality of the works, please treat them as people.' In this sense, the figures are props within the artist's constructed world, each inhabiting each of his or her own transitional space - much akin to the live spectators they meet. This setting parallels, for example, Louise Bourgeois' abstract sculptures in her 1949 and 1950 Peridot Gallery exhibitions. Both feature totemic objects loosely grouped and forming a collective 'social space',as if the sculptures have been given licence to temporarily partake of our quotidian lives, As viewers pass among the works, their accumulated experiences become a ritual part of the overall atmosphere.
    "Xiang can transfer the most delicate emotions through her fingertipsa into her works directly. She subsequently creates a complete language pattern - the likeness of form for modern sculptures. I think this pattern is a creative derivative from the western intrusion of realism. The language system she created is very similar to traditional Chinese ink paintings which seek to capture a spirit with basic devices and subtle fragrances. In this sense, she is a genius."
    (Li Xianting, interview with Wang Yin, Southern Weekly, 10 March 2006)


Your Body

Paint on reinforced Fibreglass.
267.5 x 158.5 x 148.6 cm (105 1/4 x 62 1/2 x 58 1/2 in).
Signed in Chinese and dated 'Xiang Jing 2005' and numbered of 3 on the upper right thigh reverse. .

£120,000 - 180,000 

Sold for £109,250

BRIC Theme Sale

23-24 April 2010