A visitor takes a snapshot of Lui Liu's 2005 oil painting Beijing 2008 at an exhibition in Shanghai early this year. Photo:IC

BEIJING – On the Poly auction in Beijing last weekend, the controversial painting ‘Beijing 2008’ by Chinese artist Lui Liu was sold for 19.55 yuan (USD3.14 million, €2.42 million). The winning bid is considered within the normal range for works by artists of the same generation.

The painting is about mahjong. Four ladies, in various states of nakedness, are playing a game of mahjong. A young girl is watching the scene.

Some people have interpreted the painting as a political statement: the girls are said to represent the US, the People’s Republic of China, Russia and Japan, while the young girl then symbolizes Taiwan.

The artist himself does not comment on the heated discussions about his work on the Internet.

‘Beijing 2008’ was acquired by an unknown Chinese businessman.

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