Wang Huaiqing's Gold Stone is among the lead lots of Christie's Asian contemporary art auction in Beijing on May 28.
The work's title originates from the Book of the Later Han, a 5th century record of the Han dynasty (206 BC to AD 220), and is taken from the phrase "With a heart of absolute sincerity, gold and stone will open."
Wang Huaqing is one of China's leading contemporary artists. His deeply symbolic and beautifully executed work has made him a success both at home and abroad.
Art critic Michael Sullivan explains: "Wang Huaiqing insists that the roots of his style are deep in Chinese culture, and above all, his awareness of himself as a Chinese at a critical moment in modern Chinese history.
"Three things motivate him: his perceptions of traditional China and its relation with the modern world; his own memories of life; and his search for the essential order of painting."
Wang Huaiqing's work has started to attract a larger collector base, with a piece titled Feet 2 selling for a record $7m at Sotheby's Hong Kong in April this year.
The present work, valued at $5.1m-7.7m, has the potential to exceed that sum.
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