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Zhang Lin (Chinese, b.1979)
LOT ID: 66957
China Red No. 6, 2012

Oil, on canvas
59 х 31.5 in. (149.86 x 80.01 cm.)
Signed, and dated lower right front in oil.
Lot description
Zhang Lin. "China Red No. 6" (2012)
Oil on Canvas. 150 x 80 cm. (59 inches x 31 1/2 inches)
This work is Unframed.
Signed, dated. The painting is in excellent condition.

"China Red No. 6" by Chinese Contemporary emerging painter Zhang Lin is one of the artist's finest oil paintings from his ongoing series of portraits of young Chinese women from his so-called "China Red" series. Zhang paints his subjects not as mere portraits, but as physical metaphors; figures caught between past and present, reality and fantasy. The mixed visual messages that Zhang's women project towards their own sexuality reflect the present-day conflict facing the young generation in China.

The longing for traditional Chinese culture still exists, which is depicted in the conservative look of the girl's hair-style and extends to her modest jewellery and traditional make-up, and is echoed in traditional pattern of her corset and cigarette holder. However, the artist uniquely juxtaposes the old world and the modern age seamlessly: his subject here is a vision from China's past and present both passive, traditional, and restrained, yet also openly seductive in her revealing blue corset, flouncy black lingerie, and her elbow-length bright red leather gloves, a color that is clearly a reference to China.

As if unsure of her own place in time, this woman is a beautiful contradiction in terms. She faces the viewer up-close and frontal, seemingly unaware of her seductive dress, with eyes closed as if deep in thought, possessing an innocence that is underscored by her one gloved arm covering up her bare midriff, the other held up as if to frame the beauty of her delicate facial features. "China Red No. 6" is painted in the artist's iconic palette with touches of brilliant reds and bright blues. The intricacy and detail that Zhang gives her portrait is in stark contrast to the soft monochromatic background she stands against in the tondo at the center of the canvas, as if a portal to another world.

Chinese artist Zhang Lin (B. 1979) is one of the leading artists of the 80's Generation in China. Like many of his contemporaries, Lin focuses his artwork on issues that face the post-Cultural Revolution era. This era saw new levels of prosperity, wealth and middle-class stability, which was realized by more relaxed attitudes towards physical and mental pleasure and a desire to break free from the traditional Chinese values and conservative attitudes towards sex. Zhang's paintings embrace these conflicted feelings and generations in a unique and clever manner. Zhang's paintings have been exhibited throughout Europe and Asia and most recently were included in the group exhibition "2011 New Chinese Painting", at the Beijing Times Art Museum, China.
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