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Liu Zheng (Chinese, b.1969)
LOT ID: 70539
When I Was Ever Young no. 12, 2008

Oil, on canvas.
59 х 47.25 in. (149.86 x 120.02 cm.)
Inscribed, signed, in English and Chinese and dated '2008' in oil paint, lower right front.
Lot description
"When I Was Ever Young no.12" (2008) is an exciting and poignant realist oil painting by renowned Chinese Contemporary artist Liu Zheng and belongs to his iconic “When I Was Ever Young” series of conceptual, figurative paintings. This work literally and metaphorically demonstrates various layers of complex visual space through sophisticated reflections and refractions of figures and light. The artist paints himself behind a large pane of highly reflective glass that he holds in front of him, the pane of glass acts as a visual and metaphorical barrier between artist and audience. Liu paints both his own image and the interior space that he occupies in a muted grey-scale of a black and white photograph, diminishing his role in the narrative. An ethereal image of a beautiful young Chinese woman in a black bikini bathing suit appears, swimming in clear waters, atop the surface of the glass. She is painted in full color, luminous and sensual, and in such a manner that her image is not merely a flat reflection, but also appears to occupy the literal space within the interior of the room. Liu's incredible mastery of realist painting allows her apparition, as if from a dream or memory of the artist, to feel alive and vibrant. The source of her reflection is not revealed, creating an incredible level of psychological tension. Questions regarding the relationship between the artist and the bather are posited, as they look in opposite directions from one another, intensifying the spatial and emotional dynamism of this sublime narrative. This work is unframed to dimensions of 59.00 x 47.25 inches (150 x 120 cm) and is in excellent condition.

Liu Zheng was born in Beijing in 1965, and graduated 1989 in Foreign Languages from Capital Normal University. Zheng is most widely known for his realist, figurative oil paintings that illustrate illusions, misconceptions, and underlying truths of the Modern culture of today by combining Western realistic oil painting with traditional Chinese influence. He has major exhibitions in the Amsterdam Art Fair in the Netherlands, the 2nd China Songzhuang Cultural and Art Festival, Beijing Times Gallery 1st Contemporary Art Top-pick Show, and Beijing Dongcheng District Art Center 1st Oil-painting Show. The artist currently lives and works in Beijing.
When I Was Ever Young no. 12 by Liu Zheng
  • When I Was Ever Young no. 12 by Liu Zheng
  • When I Was Ever Young no. 12 by Liu Zheng
  • When I Was Ever Young no. 12 by Liu Zheng
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