Zhang Huan - Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Monday, November 11, 2013 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Pace Wildenstein, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    “ ...the burning ashes are not what they seem to be. They are our soul, our spirit. They are the memory and desire of a country. Everything we are, everything we believe and want are within these ashes.” ZHANG HUAN

    After experiencing worldwide recognition for his powerful performance art, Chinese artist Zhang Huan decided to explore an object-based artistic practice in order to better explore some of the themes articulated through his performance art, themes pertaining to spirituality and the vulnerability of corporeal existence, the individual’s relationship to collective identity, and the tensions and aporias of Chinese contemporary experience. Lao Huan is an excellent example of some of Zhang Huan’s new work in the unorthodox yet delicately beautiful material of ash. While watching burning incense in a Buddhist temple, Zhang realized that ash was powerfully associated to spiritual transcendence and Chinese tradition. In this particular work, Zhang gives us a personification of Lao Huan, an important school of Chinese thought, and, in this fashion, emphasizes the symbolic meaning of ash as a metaphor for Chinese identity.


Lao Huan

ash on linen
59 x 39 3/8 in. (149.9 x 100 cm.)
Signed and dated "Zhang Huan 2007" on the reverse.

$80,000 - 120,000 

Contact Specialist
Amanda Stoffel
Head of Day Sale
[email protected]
+1 212 940 1261

Contemporary Art Day Sale

New York 12 November 2013 11AM