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Zhang Dali (Chinese, b.1963)
LOT ID: 80744
AK-47: Forbidden City, 1998

Chromogenic Print (C-print), framed with archival materials
24 х 36 in. (60.96 x 91.44 cm.)
Signed, dated, numbered 2/10 and dated in Chinese and Pinyin, in black marker all lower front.
Print/Casting Year 1998
Edition 2 of 10
Lot description
"AK-47: Forbidden City" (1998) is a stunning color chromogenic photograph by famed Chinese multi-media artist Zhang Dali (China B. 1963). This is edition 2 of 10, is and is in mint condition. This work measures 24.00 x 26.00 and is custom framed with archival materials dimensions of 24 x 36 inches (61 x 91.40 cm). Framed dimensions listed above are approximate. Not examined out of frame. In this image, Zhang contrasts the forgotten, older urban ruins which he has tagged with his street name "AK-47" against a vivid blue sky and the sequestered perfection of the Forbidden City whose tiered rooftops gleam in the background. Graffiti is forbidden in China, and Zhang’s tag work of his street name 'AK-47' or self-portrait on abandoned buildings marked for demolition is in itself a performance piece, with the spray paint acting as the complete antithesis of traditional Chinese inks.

In 1989, internationally renowned Chinese artist Zhang Dali (AKA 18K and AK-47) traveled to Italy in the 1980's, a culture that clearly embraces its architectural and artistic history. While there, he discovered the urban sprawl of graffiti, an event which altered his life and art, and eventually jump-started his career. His photographs have been featured in many recent international Exhibitions including the 2011 Venice Biennale, and will be in the forth-coming Museum Exhibitions: “New Photography 2011,” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY and “Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop,” in 2012 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY.
Selected Public Collections:
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY)
Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY)
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AK-47: Forbidden City by Zhang Dali
  • AK-47: Forbidden City by Zhang Dali
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