Ah Xian

China, China-Bust LIV

1999
Using age-old Chinese ceramic glazing and decoration techniques, Ah Xian’s figures are adorned with traditional landscape, spiritual, mythological and regal motifs popularized under the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties. The artist conflates this heritage with the portrait bust, a classical genre in Western art. Through his evocative depictions of acquaintances and family – the sitter here is the artist’s wife, painter Mali Hong – Ah Xian explores his own state of displaced identity, having left Beijing for Sydney, Australia in 1989 following the Tiananmen Massacre.
Artist
Title
China, China-Bust LIV
Date
1999
Medium
Sculpture
Materials
porcelain with polychrome enamel overglaze in four deities and four seasons flower scroll design
Dimensions
40.8 x 38.1 x 19.2 cm
Nationality
Chinese
Credit line
Purchased 2005
Accession number
41715