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Chen Zanxi’s Sugarcoated Bullet series combines Chinese and foreign icons to create a satirical commentary on the state of revolutionary ideals and traditional values in modern Chinese society. In Sugarcoated Bullet: Limit Up, Chen depicts five revolutionary guerillas from a the 1960’s era revolutionary opera, Azalea Hill. In the original opera, set in 1928 near the border between Jiangxi and Hunan, the forces of the enemy landlord attempt to lure the guerillas into an ambush. In this scene Ke Xiang, the female hero, explains the landlord’s devious plot while pointing out the positions of enemy forces on a battlefield map. In Chen Zanxi’s painting, however, the revolutionaries are gathered around a computer monitor, and in the background is a 90-day chart of daily trading ranges and volumes. Ke Xiang is pointing to the surging stock market.

A word from The Artist

“Sugar-coated bullet” refers to medicine coated with sugar, except that here the medicine is replaced with a deadly bullet. It is a metaphor for using clever disguises to trick people into happily welcoming an enemy attack.

Chairman Mao created this phrase soon after the founding of People’s Republic of China in order to guard against backsliding. It was a warning to those party members whose revolutionary spirit was slack to be on guard against the enemy’s hidden efforts to invade or entice defectors.

Ever since China’s policy of reform and opening, our achievements and economic developments have captured the world’s attention. This prosperity, however, also brings some negative aspects. While fast-food culture delivers speed and convenience, some precious qualities from our traditional culture are quietly being destroyed.

Sugar Coated Bullet: Limit Up

糖衣炮弹之涨停板

By CHEN Zanxi 由陈赞西创作
Display: in cm
Availible soon
Prints are created with archival-quality pigment inks and 100% cotton rag acid-free paper.

Each print comes with a certificate of authenticity numbered and signed by the artist.

Dimensions are for the size of the paper on which the image is printed - not the image itself. All prints have a white border to allow for framing.

Revenues from each purchase are shared with the artist.

A Closer Look

Ke Xiang (second from the left), sent by the Communists to assist the peasant revolt, explains the enemy's devious plot to the self-defence force. The enemy has captured the adoptive mother of Lei Gang (third from the left) in order to lure the peasants into an ambush.

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