The steep mountains of Li Keran symbolize the domination of the political regime over the wilderness and the red hills that extend to the horizon demonstrate that this power is unlimited. The small houses quietly nestled in the valleys or on the mountainside attest to the protection provided by the regime to the people.
The human being is rarely seen in the red mountains of Li Keran. The 134 x 82 cm scroll for sale by China Guardian in Beijing on June 19 is a significant epic exception.
An endless line of troops is walking forward on the road in the narrow valley, symbolizing the Long March. They go together towards progress. They are guided by the red flag and none of them lost his way at the crossing with another path. Each one carries his rifle. This artwork is estimated RMB 68M, lot 665.
Two artworks from the same year highlighted this series as the masterpieces of Maoist art. Mountains in red, 131 x 84 cm, was sold for RMB 293M including premium by Poly on June 3, 2012. Thousands of mountains in autumn, 76 x 46 cm, was sold for RMB 184M including premium by China Guardian on November 15, 2015 over a lower estimate of RMB 68M.
A black and white 96 x 146 cm drawing made in 1959 by Li Keran on the theme of the Long March through the mountains was sold for RMB 108M including premium by China Guardian on November 22, 2010.
SOLD for RMB 88M including premium