Ren Zhen Yu

毛主席, 2012
Oil on Canvas, 150 x 150 cm

USD 15,100 – 21,600

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About the artwork

Ren Zhen Yu’s rendering of Mao Zedong conveys the striking aura of the political figure. In his last decades, he was a source of inspiration, of countless songs and posters which depicted him as a symbol of brightness and hope. Ren’s use of vibrant colours presents a contemporary depiction of the leader, which raises questions of whether Ren intends to depict Mao as The Chairman Mao of the past, or to create a new interpretation that rebuilds the past as a means of salvation. We are left to wonder if the artist wants us to believe that his splendid and young Mao should be preserved in our memory. Any portrayal of Mao's face would either be met with rejection or reverence, yet ultimately it still creates an striking impact. Through this work Ren explores the conflict of remembrance, leaving viewers with further thoughts to ponder.

About the artist

Born in Tianjin in 1976, Ren Zhenyu graduated in 1999 from the Oil Painting Department at Tianjin Academy of Fine Art, where he currently works as a lecturer. His talent was recognized and appreciated by renowned galleries and distinguished collectors throughout China, and he achieved fame in Europe through his distinct portrait series of historical and political icons, such as Andy Warhol and Chairman Mao. In his works, Ren plays with a wide spectrum of colours that are juxtaposed to create a unique expressionist interpretation of famous faces and experiments with texture and layering built on to reinforce the portrayal of faces from different perspectives. 

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