Paradise Series - Fly, No. 19


Oil on canvas

130 x 150 cm

Signed lower right L.H. in English and Linhai in Chinese, dated 2003.5
Titled on the reverse Paradise Series-Fly, No. 19 in Chinese, signed Zhang lin hai in Chinese and English, dated 2003.6-2005

1,200,000 - 2,000,000
285,700 - 476,200
36,600 - 61,000
Sold Price

Ravenel Spring Auction 2007


ZHANG Linhai (Chinese, b. 1963)

Paradise Series - Fly, No. 19

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Zhang Lin Hai, Schoeni Art Gallery Ltd.,Hong Kong, color illustrated, p.155

Catalogue Note:
Zhang's art works take the remote northern village as the spectrum and a series of multiple bareheaded, naked or clothed children images as the subjects. The human figures of his paintings have peculiar shapes and fearful eye expressions which are astonishingly and confusingly searching for something in a floating state of destiny. His works vividly demonstrate the complex inner experiences and the life perspective of the children growing up in the northern Chinese country under a unique historical circumstance. The paintings describe their process of growing in which their life dreams are constantly twisted. Through the paintings, these children's quality and bravery when confronting the rough reality is reproduced. Zhang presents such unique historical circumstance with his childhood memories to reflect his own situation.

Zhang's work is full of sorrow, fear, confusion, and strongly emot ional instability which makes people want to run away. Repetitive images, flat pictures, surrealist style and absurd forms are used to display the essence of existence which makes visual attraction become vain and cruel, glossily absurd yet realistic. They are chaotic and fully of tensions. When looking at each absurd scene and immersing themselves in each painting's seemingly-malicious eye contact, viewers can vividly sense the recalcitrance of human nature, the preposterousness of existence, and the artist's attitude questioning the history and the reality.

Zhang always lets his visual style and linguistic approach linger around in a specific historical order and ideological viewpoint. Examples would be the red flags, red sorghums, red clothes, ruined houses, landmark buildings, etc. in the background. However, for they are the deformed human figures of plural arrangement, or the sorghums, red flags, houses and other symbolic signs, they are like the lowest creatures in the soil, walking through layers of shadows in the history with strength, persistence, and sensitivity. They are a group of humble lives but glittering with the angelic human nature with the bitterness of life dreams on their shoulders.