Zang Xiaotao - Contemporary Art Day Sale London Sunday, June 29, 2008 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Private collection, Europe

  • Catalogue Essay

    Among Chinese artists, oil painting has caught on as a fashionable and innovative expression of Western energy. In the hands of a skillful painter like Zhang Xiaotao, it reflects the character of an ancient culture while embracing modern themes and colors. Fish, snakes, human faces, beer mugs, condoms—these repeating elements appear in intricate layers of paint that defy opacity. The creatures' hues are often the blues and greens of the traditional Chinese pottery and carvings that abound in jade markets, but placed in front of or behind the animals' outlines are shapes and symbols that would challenge, if not startle, any unsuspecting market habitué.Everywhere in Xiaotao's work one finds splotches of the red paint. It appears to be mixed with something that won't quite blend with it, and the effect is that of a potato stamp made from a bumpy, many-eyed spud. In the context of sex and birth, though, these bubbles and deep-red blotches are semen and blood. They are the repeating threads of humanity: liquids that transmit life, inheritance, and the most essential fluids of ancestry—containing not only DNA, but also the ways in which we (both animals and humans) need each other and hurt each other. In their aqueous environment, the drops, smears, and splotches also remind one of amoebas seen under a microscope, like beads of a primordial sea.(Taken from



Oil on canvas.
198 x 100 cm. (78 x 39 3/8 in).

£25,000 - 35,000 

Contemporary Art Day Sale

30 June 2008, 10am & 2pm