Lot Details

"Sacrifice《祭》No. 26 " (2008) is a rare, important and unabashedly intense large-scale color photographs by famed Chinese Contemporary artist Tian Taiquan's for his "Sacrifice" series, all photographed in an famous graveyard in Beijing at night. In "Sacrifice《祭》No. 26" a beautiful young Chinese woman lays on the ground the center of the darkened cemetery with eyes closed and a peaceful expression, wearing the standard Red Guard PRC uniform, her top unbuttoned to expose her porcelain skin and one of her breasts, as she reverentially cradles in her hands a copy of "Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung", a book of writings by Mao, with its iconic bright red cover, nicknamed "The Little Red Book", one of the most printed books in history. She is lit from an anonymous, ethereal light source, luminous in the otherwise cold and dark locale, and we are not certain is she is sleeping or dead. Tian uses this poignant and visually arresting portrait as a stunning metaphor, representing the resilience, resistance and souls of the thousands of unknown individuals who died, disappeared or were displaced during China's Cultural Revolution. This work is from an edition of 8, in excellent condition and measures 47.25 x 52.75 inches (120 x 134 cm) unframed. This is the first edition of this photograph to ever come to international auction.

A pioneer of the 'Cynical Realist' movement of artists from his generation, Tian uses his work to critique the internal politics and agenda that defined the Mao-era and events such as the "Cultural Revolution" which he experienced as a young man. Tian Taiquan (b. 1960, China) continues to be one of the most relevant photographers from the Chinese Avant-Garde generation of artist. His photographs, especially from the "Sacrifice" series, have been the subject of Gallery and Museum exhibitions such as "Seek and Hide, Tian Taiquan Solo Exhibition," Cultural Arts Museum, Beijing, China and "Foreordination and Transcendence" Contemporary Photography Exhibition, Singapore. The artist graduated from the prestigious Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, China in 1988 and was a Resident Artist at Tank Loft, Chongqing Contemporary Art Centre, China.

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  • The Artist. Present Collection, China.
  • Pickup Location: China
  • Shipping Dimensions: 47.25 x 52.75 in. (120.02 x 133.98 cm.)
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