Zeng Fanzhi: Most Expensive Living Asian Artist


Zeng Fanzhi was born in Wuhan and currently lives and works in Beijing. While at art school, Zeng paid a particular interest in German Expressionist painters and by the time he had his first show he had gained his own style.


Joy, sorrow, depression, companionship, loneliness; most of us have felt these feelings though it is somewhat hard to express them in words and even harder in pictures. Zeng constructively challenges the current society and the emotions people are expressing within the society they live in. Dogs are displayed often in his paintings expressing the compact life one owns nowadays. Religion is also challenged, being a great proportion of current society in some areas of the world. His progress form the early 90s, when he started painting, up to now is evident.


It was 1998 and Zeng Fanzhi was struggling to find somewhere to display his paintings. The market for modern Chinese art barely existed. Thanks to help from a fledgling local dealership, Zeng was able to hang a piece in the lobby of the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Shanghai and was extremely pleased when the painting – “Mask Series No 6” (1996) – was sold to a visiting American tourist for $16,000. Just 10 years later, the same piece was bought for more than $9.7m at a Christie’s auction in Hong Kong […]FT mentioned in a lively article late last year. In this post selected artwork is presented. Enjoy.

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