GENG JIANYI (1962-2017)
gelatin silver prints, in two connected parts
60.5 x 100.5 cm. (2378 x 3958 in.)
Executed circa. 1990. This work is unique.
ShanghART Gallery, Hong Kong
Acquired from the above by the present owner
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Lot Essay

As a seminal figure of the Chinese ’85 New Wave movement’, the pioneering conceptual artist Geng Jianyi was best known for his iconic oil portraits. Towards the end of the 1990s, the artist had also shifted his attention to various media, applying a wide range of techniques including staining, frottage, photographic prints, and textual juxtaposition, pushing the boundaries of fixed artistic formats.

Body demonstrates Geng’s exquisite experiment with darkroom techniques. Through his photographic distortion and deconstruction, an almost undecipherable metaphor of the body is on full display, striking the viewers with its intense visual impact.

Repeatedly questioning individual identity within the cultural context of contemporary China, the work of Geng Jianyi is often understood with the language of postwar modernism. Yet, this unique photo processing work is packed with unpredictable vagueness and unsettling fragments, marking Geng’s characteristic refusal to offer definitive representations and expressions in his later years.

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