Xu Zhen - Let Loose: Online Auction Hong Kong Thursday, June 29, 2023 | Phillips
  • Xu Zhen is widely known for his interdisciplinary practice that spans sculpture, installation, performance and painting. The present work is a striking example that belongs to the artist’s thought-provoking Light Source series, which Xu began creating in 2010. His inspiration for this series comes from his fascination with light and colour. Closer observation further reveals a conceptual dimension, whereby the artist uses artificial light sources to ingeniously obscure his paintings – addressing the role that technology and artificiality plays in our contemporary society today.


    Taking reference from one of Paul Gauguin’s masterpieces And the Gold of Their Bodies, Xu’s present work is a reproduction of Gauguin’s and explores the various mediations that disrupt the viewer’s experience of an artwork, particularly in observing a culture that is not one’s own. The effect of the flash bulb encourages viewers to decipher what the light sources might entail.  Xu Zhen's work combines the natural and the artificial, and the organic and the synthetic, often creating unrecognizable hybrid forms.


    Xu Zhen’s The Gold of their Bodies brilliantly incorporates technical innovation with conceptual depth. Other works from the artist’s Light Source series were exhibited in his major retrospective held at the UCCA Centre for Contemporary Art in 2014.

    • Provenance

      MadeIn Gallery, Shanghai
      Tiroche DeLeon Collection, Gibraltar (acquired from the above by the present owner)

Property from the Tiroche DeLeon Collection


Light Source - The Gold of their Bodies

signed 'Xu Zhen [in Chinese]' on the reverse
oil on canvas, in artist's frame
work 67 x 75.8 cm. (26 3/8 x 29 7/8 in.)
frame 85 x 94 cm. (33 1/2 x 37 in.)

Painted in 2014.

Full Cataloguing

HK$150,000 - 250,000 

Sold for HK$152,400

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Let Loose: Online Auction

29 June - 6 July 2023