Xu Zhen - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale London Thursday, June 27, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Natalie Obadia Gallery, Brussels
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Brussels, Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Xu Zhen by MadeIn Company, 21 November 2013 - 4 January 2014
    Paris, Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Sleeping Life Away, 17 March - 16 May 2012

  • Catalogue Essay

    Chinese Iconographies: A Selection of Works by Chinese Artists from an Esteemed European Collection.

    The ensuing group of works by Chinese artists explore the importance of identifying with and reflecting on their cultural heritage through physical objects, motifs and references whilst addressing current socio-political circumstances within China and around the world.

    A leading figure among the young generation of Chinese artists, Xu Zhen lives and works in Shanghai. Xu Zhen’s output through MadeIn Company, the artist’s brand since 2009, largely consists of sculptures, paintings and installations, predominantly representing incompatible contradictions between iconographies which refer to distant cultures, civilisations and time periods, alluding to the various power struggles of human history. This makes a clear criticism of Imperial China’s persecution of Tibet. In the present work, Buddha’s Warrior Attendant, the Kepi – a symbol of the oppressor, is ironically far too small for the head on which it sits, powerfully condemning the illegitimacy of dictatorial controls over religious and cultural minorities. Following the contradictions and theme of contrasts throughout Xu’s work, the commanding primitive stature of the Buddha’s Warrior Attendant is contradicted by the lightness and fragility of the polyurethane foam – symbolic of the existing political and social systems. Xu Zhen's progressive oeuvre has been exhibited internationally; most recently the artist held a solo show, The Glorious, at Perrotin, Hong Kong, which finished in May 2019, and his works have also been celebrated at the Venice Biennale, 2001 and 2005, and Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2004.

Property From An Esteemed European Collection


Buddha's Warrior Attendant (Kepi)

polyurethane foam with hat
230.5 x 49 x 43 cm (90 3/4 x 19 1/4 x 16 7/8 in.)
Executed in 2011.

£18,000 - 24,000 

Contact Specialist

Tamila Kerimova

Director, Specialist
Head of Day Sale
44 20 7318 4065


20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 28 June 2019