Yu Honglei - Let Loose: Online Auction Hong Kong Thursday, June 29, 2023 | Phillips
  • Born 1984 in Inner Mongolia, Yu Honglei is an artist whose works continues to challenge the status quo and transcend boundaries. His sculptural practice takes inspiration from his fascination with the plasticity of thought forms and the sensible entities it corresponds to.


    Channelling the work’s conceptual drive, the materials used for First into the Mist were accumulated from the rubble of a dilapidated building behind Yu’s studio. The present work features two taxidermy birds perched on separate beams attempting to gaze at one another only to realise that their field of vision is intentionally obstructed by the beam in the middle.


    First into the Mist addresses the fragility of nature and stimulates human temporality, referencing a disaster that has happened or is about to happen. Additionally, the title of the work evokes a sense of exploration and discovery – perhaps the word ‘mist’ signifies as a metaphor for the unknown or unexplored and implies a desire for serenity to be revived.


    Yu Honglei’s multidisciplinary works have been exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; MOCA Shanghai Museum, China; OCT Contemporary Art Terminal Shenzhen, China; and the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea.

    • Provenance

      Magician Space, Beijing
      Tiroche DeLeon Collection, Gibraltar (acquired from the above by the present owner)

    • Exhibited

      Shanghai, Contemporary Art Terminal, The 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale - Accidental Message: Art is Not a System. Not A World, October 2012
      Beijing, Magician Space, Yu Honglei: Everything is Extremely Important - There is Nothing That Will Not Come Back Again, July 12 - September 8, 2013
      Berlin, Uferhallen, The 8 of Paths, 29 April - 13 July 2014
      Berlin, Mercedes-Benz Contemporary, Last Night’s Fortune Teller, 26 November 2017 - 13 May 2018 (another example exhibited)

    • Literature

      Li Li, 'Yu Honglei', 2013, n.p.
      Hao Ke, 'Yu Honglei', Oriental Art Master, 2013, n.p.
      Aimee Lin, 'Yu Honglei', ArtReview, 2014, n.p.
      Julie Baumgardner, 'Yu Honglei Could Be China’s Next Great Artistic Export', 2015, n.p.
      Serge Tiroche and Anna Dickie, 'In Conversation with Anna Dickie', Ocula, Hong Kong, 7 July 2015 (illustrated, n.p.)

Property from the Tiroche DeLeon Collection


Lot offered with No Reserve

First into the Mist

(ii) numbered and dated '3/5 2012' on the underside
bronze, taxidermy animal
162.5 x 12 x 15.5 cm. (63 7/8 x 4 3/4 x 6 1/8 in.)
178.4 x 12.6 x 14 cm. (70 1/4 x 4 7/8 x 5 1/2 in.)

Executed in 2012, this work is number 3 from an edition of 5.

Full Cataloguing

HK$60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for HK$38,100

Contact Specialist

Sophia Choi
Associate Specialist, Head of Online Sales
20th Century & Contemporary Art, Hong Kong
+852 2318 2093

Let Loose: Online Auction

29 June - 6 July 2023