Zeng Chuanxing - Red Paper Bride
Red Paper Bride, 2010, stands as an iconic example of Zeng Chuanxing’s celebrated Paper Bride series. In vogue with the adaptations of classical realism techniques that formed the zeitgeist of early twenty-first century Chinese art, Zeng Chuanxing’s Red Paper Bride is a tour de force of his mastery of oils.
Zeng Chuanxing - Red Paper Bride, 2010, oil on canvas, 150 x 130 cm
Painted with painstakingly detailed brushstrokes, the artist’s dexterous hand has transformed the flat canvas into a tromp l’oeil of texture and jaunty surfaces. Light catches the sitter’s eye with a startling reality as her unbroken gaze confronts the viewer. Believing that it is only the eyes and hands of an individual that give true representation of the human soul, these two anatomical features remain a clear focus for the artist throughout his oeuvre, adding a unique character and personality to each of his models.
Echoing the growing Western influence on Chinese culture at the time, the crumpled paper drapery stands out from the two dimensional plane with a lifelike reality reminiscent of an Old Master painting. Further dialogue between Western and Chinese tradition continues in the bride’s paper fabric with the symbolically chose colour schemes by the artist. Each of the Sichuan minority women portrayed in this series are clad in either white or red paper; red representing Chinese tradition and white representing Western tradition.
The iconic Paper Bride’s continue to charm private collectors, museums and foundations. Zeng’s work has been exhibited at the Beijing Yan-Huant Art Museum, The Hunan Museum in Changsha, the Central University of Nationalities and the Guangdong Art Museum in China. His work is also in the collections of the Gabr foundation, the Maritime Museum Hong Kong, the Al Zubair museum. His work is also held in the private collections of Sting and Trudie Styler, and has been exhibited at the Cultural Palace of Nationalities in Beijing, the Yu Feng Arts Gallery Beijing, the Budja Gallery, Germany. He has been awarded the Superior Work award at the Mei Yuan Cup, the copper medal in the First Exhibition of China Oil Painting, and the copper medal in the 6th Bai Hua Prize of Nationalities at the Beijing Cultural Palace of Nationalities.
Zeng Chuanxing has achieved record prices at auction since 2005, sometimes going for three and four times their estimate, now a blue chip artist, his prices continue to steadily climb. In the recent auction of Sting and Trudie Styler’s art collection Zeng’s Paper Bride, Red Grass Sea, estimated at £20,000 – 40,000, sold for £146,500.