Zhou Yan Contemporary Chinese Art Archive 周彦当代中国艺术档案



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Oil on canvas


180 x 150 cm


The painting is comprised of solely four subjects: a hanging lamp enters and stops at the picture's top-left corner; in the image's center, a duo of red back chair and key disproportionately align, with the chair layers slightly behind the enormous key; and lastly, a plate of pills (a total of six) is placed on the artwork's bottom-right edge. We are not sure under which setting do these objects appear. The background of the image is erased by a few abrupt white splashes. The detached nature of the subjects, along with the inconsistent scales and proportions of them, render the artwork rather abstract than concrete or realistic. All the objects depicted, indeed, could play into Mao's witting allusions to the notion of power, and honestly register Mao's entwined feeling to "power". Mao once commented on power: "it (power) fears me, but at the same time I pity it [...] it is born out of darkness, [...], sits on a back chair, irremovable, [...], and ineluctable. (Texts translated from Chinese)" The saturated colors of red and black that dominate the picture, as well as the heavily viscous facture, would help Mao to render an imagery of pressing power. (Zhou, 毛旭辉的“时间复调”—反复吟唱的热爱, 2018, Mann Art, available on http://www.maanart.com/index.php/Home/Article/detail/id/78) (Jerry Wu'23).



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