Cookies help Arcadja providing its services: browsing the portal you accept their use.
I cookies aiutano Arcadja a fornire i suoi servizi: navigando nel portale ne accettate l'utilizzo.
Cookies disclosure/Informativa cookies

  • Art Auctions, Ventes aux Encheres Art, Kunstauctionen, Subastas Arte, Leilões de Arte, Аукционы искусства, Aste
  • Research
  • Services
  • Enrollment
    • Enrollment
  • Arcadja
  • Search author
  • Login

Chen Zhen

China (1955 -  2000 )
CHEN ZHEN Place Of Emptiness

Christie's /Nov 16, 2016
108,715.35 - 163,073.02
116,800.00

Find artworks, auction results, sale prices and pictures of Chen Zhen at auctions worldwide.
Go to the complete price list of works Follow the artist with our email alert
Along with Chen Zhen, our clients also searched for the following authors:
Michele Cascella, Miguel Ortiz Berrocal, Alberto Gianquinto, Lucio Fontana, Ben Nicholson, Filippo De Pisis, Ottone Rosai
Artworks in Arcadja
117

Some works of Chen Zhen

Extracted between 117 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Chen Zhen - Silence Sonore (silent Sound)

Chen Zhen - Silence Sonore (silent Sound)

Original 2000
Estimate:

Price:

Lot number: 36
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
CHEN ZHEN (CHINA, 1955-2000) Silence Sonore (Silent Sound) wooden chairs, chamber pots, iron, sound system 176 x 140 x 140 cm. (69 1/4 x 55 1/8 x 55 1/8 in.) Executed in 2000 Chen Zhen\’s sculptural installation Silence Sonore (Sonorous Silence) (Lot 36) is anything but silent. Speakers embedded in the wooden barrels stream a constant soundtrack that consists of scraping, scrubbing, rubbing and rinsing noises. We hear the sound of barrels being moved around, handles clattering, water being poured out. A bicycle bell and the murmur of early morning traffic situates us on the street of Shanghai where these sounds were originally recorded. A work that debuted at the exhibition In Praise of Black Magic held in 2000 in Turin, Italy, Silence Sonore consists of three traditional wooden Chinese chairs, placed facing each other, with a halo of wooden cylinders suspended overhead. To Western viewers, the cylinders at first resemble traditional Chinese drums, appearing to be charming and innocent antiques. However, many Chinese viewers will instantly recognize the forms for what they truly are: wooden chamber pots, used in cities such as Shanghai before modern plumbing was made available in most households. Born in Shanghai during the Cultural Revolution, Chen Zhen grew up with a love of drawing and painting. However, at the age of 25, Chen was diagnosed with a rare form of anaemia, and was warned that he might only have five years left to live. This awareness of his own mortality would come to shape Chen Zhen\’s life and career, pushing him to emigrate to Paris just a few years later in 1986 so that he could spend the remaining years of his life pursuing his dream of studying and creating art overseas. Living the life of a Chinese artist in exile was difficult for Chen – much of his art focuses on cultural displacement and change, subtly grappling with his own questions of self-identity. In Silence sonore, the use of traditional Chinese chamber pots - a common sight in Shanghai during the 60s and 70s – directly references Duchamp\’s infamous Fountain , which shocked viewers for both its irreverent use of a common urinal, and also for the challenge that it posed to conventional ideas at the time of what could be constituted as \“art.\” By using antique chamber pots, Chen also poses a challenge to Chinese artistic sensibilities which still widely regard toilets as unclean objects unfit for public display. At the same time, the visual ambiguity of the barrels reminds viewers of the possibility of cultural misinterpretation or misunderstanding, while serving as a reminder of the native culture that Chen Zhen left behind him when he moved overseas to Paris. According to Chen\’s widow and long-term partner, the sounds of cleaning that emanate from within the suspended chamber pots \“refer to sounds of the artist\’s childhood memories in Shanghai.\” The soundtrack was recorded by Chen himself on one of his rare trips home, several years after his move to Paris. As recordings made in the field, the sounds serve as an anthropological record of a practice that was already disappearing during the time of Chen\’s visit, referencing Chen\’s memories of a bygone China while referencing the daily rituals that are slow to change. Listening to the soundtrack on an endless loop, the sounds are meditative, ambient, and somehow purifying. Although the sounds reference a process that is instinctively repulsive, the sounds are nonetheless those of cleaning and purification, drawing associations with processes of baptismal renewal and spiritual cleansing. In addition to the antique chamber pots, Chen makes use of three antique Chinese chairs, arranged in an inward-facing triangle. Perhaps more than any other object, chairs are forms specifically designed to be occupied by a human body, making them a favourite subject of artists ranging from Van Gogh to Martin Creed. In this context, the three chairs suggest space for three individuals, but the positioning of the chairs makes it impossible for anyone to sit down, negating their function in the same way that the chamber pots suspended above are rendered useless. What could have been an intimate circle is instead a barrier that blocks people out, forcing viewers to stand outside as observers. The number three also suggests a number of possible interpretations, ranging from such as the concept of the Three Treasures in traditional Chinese medicine: chi, essence and spirit, the Holy Trinity in Western Christianity, or perhaps Chen Zhen\’s immediate family, consisting of himself, his wife and his son. Regardless of how one views the three chairs, the inward-facing arrangement suggests themes of isolation and introversion, a possible echo of the artist\’s psyche as he battled with illness throughout the final years of his life. Chen passed away in 2000 at the age of 45, the same year that Sonorous Silence was created. Gone far too soon, he left behind him a formidable legacy that continues to undergo re-evaluation and reassessment. His work often elicits mixed reactions that are just as opposite as the components of his work. According to Chen, \“If something is acid you cross it with something sweet. This is a very Chinese way of contradiction, like yin and yang. The most exciting moment in my work is when there is suddenly a meeting between two things that were inactive before. It is about contrast, contradiction, and confrontation.\” Through confrontation, Chen\’s work challenges our expectations surrounding art, culture and appropriation, raising questions that remain relevant today.
Chen Zhen - The Writing/the Number

Chen Zhen - The Writing/the Number

Original 1990
Estimate:

Price:

Gross Price
Lot number: 239
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Chen Zhen

THE WRITING/THE NUMBER

1955 - 2000

stone, sand, metal, wood, ink, rice paper, cellophane, steel, typewriter and Plexiglas, in 4 parts Overall: 47 1/4 by 44 3/4 by 11 1/2 in. 120 by 113.7 by 29.2 cm. Executed in 1990.

Provenance

Dany Keller Galerie, Eichelhardt Acquired from the above by the present owner in September 1991
Chen Zhen - Project Mental N°1

Chen Zhen - Project Mental N°1

Original 1994
Estimate:
Starting price:

Price:

Gross Price
Lot number: 87
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
CHEN Zhen (1955 - 2000) PROJECT MENTAL N°1 (FIELD OF WASTE) - 1994 Papier, encre de Chine, acrylique, collage et cendre de journaux dans plexiglas h: 105 w: 69,50 cm Provenance : Collection Edith Bizot, Paris Collection Michel Fedoroff, Monaco Commentaire : Cette oeuvre a été réalisée au New Museum of Contemporary Art de New York en 1994. PAPER, INDIA INK, ACRYLIC, COLLAGE AND NEWSPAPERS ASH IN PLEXIGLAS
Chen Zhen - Place Of Emptiness

Chen Zhen - Place Of Emptiness

Original
Estimate:

Price:

Gross Price
Lot number: 482
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Chen Zhen (1955-2000) Place of Emptiness wooden chair, Chinese chamber pots, metal and sound system 68 x 43 x 33 in. (172.7 x 109.2 x 83.8 cm.) Executed in 1999. This work will be included in the upcoming Chen Zhen catalogue raisonné, Volume II.

Chen Zhen (1955-2000) was a pioneering artist of the generation that had witnessed the Chinese Cultural Revolution and its aftermath. Born in Shanghai, he emigrated to France in 1986 to study at the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts in Paris. In the process, he transitioned from a painter to an artist whose large-scale installation works reflect deep critical inquiry into the boundaries of identity. The artist\’\’\’\’\’\’\’\’s practice bridges disciplines relating to performance; dance and music with the implication of the corporeal presence by virtue of such articles as chair and bed. Process drawings accentuate sculpture and further define meaning and intent. Zhen\’\’\’\’\’\’\’\’s experience of being part of the Chinese diaspora led him to use ready-made and found objects to create works that transformed them by situating them in a different context, without the objects losing their original identity. His most famous work, Jue Chang – Fifty Strokes to Each, 1998, was shown in the 1999 Venice Biennial and was central to his posthumous solo exhibition in 2003 at MoMA P.S.1, New York. At once a dance, a musical performance and a sculptural installation, the work brings together wood, metal, chairs and beds strung up with ropes and other objects to be beaten as drums by viewers as a way to challenge the conventional method of solving political disputes and historical conflicts in the world. Zhen\’\’\’\’\’\’\’\’s use of humble materials and belief in the artist as an agent of change recalls the art of another great conceptual artist, Joseph Beuys, while his compassionate understanding of the political issues surrounding the work\’\’\’\’\’\’\’\’s original site in conflict-ridden Tel Aviv demonstrates his prowess in tackling universal topics with sensitivity and delightful wit. As his work matured, Zhen was invited to exhibit around the world, from Johannesburg to Texas. Zhen continued his exploration of globalization through his practice, where he attempted to anchor himself in a variety of cultural contexts to have a dialogue with the local culture, while diluting the mono-cultural influence of the West (J. Sans, \“The Resounding Silence: Interview of Chen Zhen,\” in Chen Zhen: A Tribute, New York, 2003, p.29). His masterful repurposing of Chinese objects for installations in non-Chinese contexts allows for the viewer to come up with different associations for the objects while introducing their original meanings into a new situation. While his struggle with cancer intensified, Zhen\’\’\’\’\’\’\’\’s art investigated healing and traditional Chinese medicine alongside additional references to the body. He became very interested in the synergy of energies that link and interconnect with each other within the organs of the body. Couverture, 1998, is a blanket made of walnuts, which in Chinese tradition was not only a symbol of status but also used for massaging the hands as this was thought to help activate the body. His drawings show his deliberate juxtaposition of the walnuts with the absent body as well as his consideration of such traditional concepts. The shell/walnut stands as an analogy to the skull/brain. The skull protects the brain while the brain is the locus for thought and creativity. The base for the work is an idealized version of a hospital operating table and is referential to the artist\’\’\’\’\’\’\’\’s reflection on his own mortality in addressing his cancer but in its simplification the intent is to make the meaning a universal reference to the human condition and illness. Chaise de concentration, 1999, is an installation of four chamber pots and stereo speakers over a chair, recalling the therapeutic act of listening to music while humorously reminding the viewer of the act of bodily cleansing. The chair and commodes themselves are a reference to archaic ordinary objects that have become repurposed and subsumed by contemporary technology and progress. Chen Zhen, as an artist and human, is keenly aware of what was lost and gained specifically in the Chinese Cultural Revolution but can be made parallel in the name of \“progress\” across cultures. Both are master strokes by Zhen as physical manifestations of medical synergies as well as regeneration of cultural meaning in these objects. They reflect his final desire as an artist, despite his untimely passing, to be a healer and for healing to be a source for an artistic process of investigation.
Chen Zhen - Chair Of Concentration

Chen Zhen - Chair Of Concentration

Original 1999
Estimate:

Price:

Gross Price
Lot number: 820
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Wooden chair, Chinese chamber pots, metal, sound system 180 (H) by 115 by 70 cm; 70⅞ (H) by 45¼ by 27½ in. executed in 1999 Provenance Art and Public, Geneva Private Collection Sotheby's Hong Kong, 6 April 2009, lot 708 Acquired by the present owner from the above sale 820 Chen Zhen CHAIR OF CONCENTRATION
Arcadja LogoServices
Subscription
Advertising
Sponsored Auctions
Subscription

Arcadja
Our Product
Follow Arcadja on Facebook
Follow Arcadja on Twitter
Follow Arcadja on Google+
Follow Arcadja on Pinterest
Follow Arcadja on Tumblr