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He Hongbei (American/Chinese, b.1969)
LOT ID: 66680
Lakeside, 2011

Oil, on canvas
78.75 х 65 in. (200.02 x 165.1 cm.)
Signed, inscribed, in Chinese and dated "2011" in oil lower right
Lot description
He Hongpei (China, B. 1969). "Lakeside". 2011. Oil on Canvas.
Signed and dated in oil lower right front of canvas.
Unframed dimensions: 78.75in. x 65 in. (200cm x 165cm)
This work is unframed and in excellent condition.

"Lakeside" is a new realist oil painting and a masterpiece by famed female Chinese Contemporary artist He Hongpei. Here, a stunning young woman is painted at such a heightened level of realism that this could be mistaken as a photograph. The attention to her facial details and treatment of her features, gaze, hair, make-up and manner of dress is mesmerizing. Swathed in a diaphanous white gown and wearing a surreal headdress comprised of faux-deer antlers, the woman sits on the bank of a lake. Light pink cherry tree buds frame her face, while robust pink flowers bloom in full at her feet. She kneels at the water's edge with a Scholar's rock at her back, a nod to traditional China.

"Lakeside" belongs to the new series of large-scale oil paintings that are regarded by the artist as a visual journal, chronicling He Hongpei’s innermost secrets, desires, and aspirations. There are strong Romantic overtones in her work, made apparent by the lush colour-palette, and the themes of water. This work also continues the artist's famous on-going series of large-scale oil paintings whose primary subjects are sensual young Chinese women with a new type of fantasy-based narrative-- one that is serene and tranquil, as if a dream or a memory. By placing this woman in a specific lake-side context, the artist intentionally gives no indication of the figure's place in time, thus encapsulating both the women of Traditional 'Old' China as well as the women of the Modern, highly made-up and openly sensual 'New China'.

As a woman, He Hongpei is extremely conscious of her femininity, as well as the issues that face women in today's contemporary society. Most dominant in her work is the importance of the woman as the central axis as a mother, as a wife, and as an independent individual. Her paintings address how women define this role and make it uniquely theirs.

He Hongpei (China, b. 1969) received her degree from the affiliated High School of the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts, Chongqing in 1988,
and in 1992 graduated from the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts, China. She has recently returned to live and work in China after 10 years living in the United States.
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