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Wang Ziwei (Chinese, b.1963)
LOT ID: 79150
Hopeless, 2007

Acrylic, on Canvas
82.75 х 71 in. (210.18 x 180.34 cm.)
Signed, titled, and dated "Wang Ziwei Hopeless 2007," verso
Lot description
The title of this 2007 work by Wang Ziwei is a reference to Roy Lichtenstein's 1963 painting of the same name, which depicts a dejected woman thinking, “That’s the way it should have begun! But it’s hopeless!” In the present work, Wang has removed the words but retained Lichtenstein's sentiment, inserting a portrait of Mao into the thought bubble. "Hopeless" typifies the artist's best-known work, in which he fuses Mao's portrait with imagery from the Western Pop tradition.

After graduating from the Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts in 1983, Wang Ziwei (b. 1963) worked as a designer for an advertising agency, where he saw how easily images could be manipulated to promote ideas and opinions. During this time, Wang began work on a painting series which assimilated a portrait of Mao with Western Pop art images, placing the political leader in an entirely new context filled with colorful cartoons and Pop icons. Wang's cheery portrayals of Mao helped launch a Pop art movement in China that was centered on political imagery. His paintings have been included in major exhibitions at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, Cuba (2009); the State Tretyajov Gallery, Moscow, Russia (2007); the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England (1999); and the San Jose Museum of Art, CA (1997).
Hopeless by Wang Ziwei
  • Hopeless by Wang Ziwei
  • Hopeless by Wang Ziwei
  • Hopeless by Wang Ziwei
  • Hopeless by Wang Ziwei
  • Hopeless by Wang Ziwei
  • Hopeless by Wang Ziwei
  • Hopeless by Wang Ziwei
  • Hopeless by Wang Ziwei
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Sales Results for Comparable Works

  • Wang Ziwei

    Hopeless
    acrylic on canvas
    (H 82.7, W 70.9) in.
    (210 x 180) cm.
    Sold for: US$43,283
    Monday, May 28, 2012
    Ravenel
    Lot 00055
  • Wang Ziwei

    Hopeless: Take care
    acrylic on canvas
    (H 57.7, W 63.8) in.
    (146.5 x 162) cm.
    Sold for: US$79,644
    Sunday, October 02, 2011
    Sotheby's Hong Kong
    Lot 00114
  • Wang Ziwei

    Hopeless
    acrylic on canvas
    (H 82.7, W 70.9) in.
    (210 x 180) cm.
    Sold for: US$49,357
    Monday, May 30, 2011
    Ravenel
    Lot 00041
  • Wang Ziwei

    Hopeless
    acrylic on canvas
    (H 82.7, W 70.9) in.
    (210 x 180) cm.
    Sold for: US$45,160
    Monday, December 01, 2008
    Christie's Hong Kong
    Lot 01060
  • Wang Ziwei

    Hopeless
    oil on canvas
    (H 82.8, W 71.0) in.
    (210.2 x 180.3) cm.
    Sold for: US$74,814
    Saturday, October 18, 2008
    Phillips de Pury & Company London
    Lot 00130
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