Posts tagged China
Qiurui Du
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Qiurui Du is an artist from Beijing, China and is currently based in New York City. Having grown up in an artistic family his love of art grew tremendously. Queer identity and life experience give Qiurui a unique point of views and inspirations in art. As an introverted person, he expressed all his emotions and ideas through colors and images, and he believes art is a way to tell stories. In Qiurui’s work, he deconstructs his inner fears, love, and Chinese pop cultures, and the subject matter in Qiurui’s artworks is also inspired by his surroundings as well as daily experiences within the social framework. He creates corny scenarios with bright colors and flat images to bring the viewers into an illusionary dimension, where reality and imagination have been combined. In the Qiurui’s recent solo exhibition “A Bizarre World” (May, 2018), he has explored his childhood memories in his hometown Beijing with the particular attention to the social conflict and pop cultures that were influenced by China’s tremendous development and used acrylic to create a colorful imaginary world with black senses of humor to address the social issues, such as environmental problems, the conflict between poor and rich, and traditional Chinese lifestyle in Modern Chinese society.

Statement

The series of paintings "The Adventure Of Dama Wang" is inspired by my childhood memories with my grandmother. My grandmother liked to take a walk with me after dinner every day. It was like an adventure because every day we could see different people and discover exciting events in the city. In the artwork, I have explored my childhood memories with the particular attention to the social conflict. The character - an old lady with a purple cloth and big hair is a representation of a group of middle-aged Chinese women who rushed to purchase gold and stocks as an investment without thinking. They were also profoundly influenced by Chinese tradition, willing to serve in the household and concerned about daily expenses in a developing society. Through the character's eyes, she sees a " Pengci" ( It is a Chinese term referring to the practice of scam such as being hit by a car intentionally for money ), characters from Nothern Chinese Nianhua, and people who enjoy their happy hour. The corny scenarios with bright colors, characters, in which are inspired by people I saw in Chinese memes and pop culture, and flat images bring the audiences into an illusionary dimension, where reality and imagination have been combined. It is a satire and a celebration of modern Chinese society.

Instagram: @qiuruidu   

www.duqiurui.com

Complexity Through Minimal Expression: Interview with Yihong Hsu
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Yihong Hsu has an interesting multi-cultural background. She was born in Seoul, Korea as 3rd generation Chinese immigrants. She received American education since elementary school to college. She now lives permanently in Hong Kong.

 Yihong Hsu received her Bachelor of Art in Graphic Design at  Maryland Institute, College of Art, USA and later received her Master in Arts, Design Management, at International Design Advanced Studies Hongik University in Seoul, Korea.  

Her multi-national and cultural background lead her to have a successful career in design and branding industry for 18 years.

In 2018, she had a first break through as an artist, by being commissioned to do an art installation of 10 meter wide giant Panda and 7 meters tall Camellia tree - LOVE.FOUND. in Chongqing IFS mall (with co-artist Simone Carena of Italy). Ever since, she has found a new passion in contemporary art and have been painting for the past year. 

Artist Statement

Seed Series

The “Seed Series” was developed as a personal interpretation of nature and carries a deeper meaning of how that relates to us - humans. Flowers are portrayed as carriers of the seeds. All flowers carry female and male parts and thus self-reproductive. It is in all nature of things, a desire to reproduce and seeds are the beginning of that. My paintings are the exploration of seeds, seeds journey. Every seed will carry its own path, it may fall out sometime, it will one day be received, and it will grow.

Ball Series

Circles (balls) are very intriguing. They create movement and tension in the space and create odd spaces around them. They are so simple yet so powerful and I find myself using circles (balls) to interpret life, my own encounters, experiences, and emotion. Using the most minimal expression to interpret some complicated thoughts.

Interview by Alicia Puig

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How did you first become interested in art, and can you explain a bit of how it led you to the work you create today? 

I was a graphic designer for 18 years working in branding and advertising agencies. During those years, I always felt like there was an artist in every designer.

However, designers are very restricted, as they also have to be sensitive to the project's objectives, client's needs, market trends, etc. I was longing for freedom to express myself the way I wanted to and about things I was interested in. In 2018, I was lucky to be commissioned to do an art installation piece in Chongqing, China. A 10-meter long chrome finishing panda lying on top of Chongqing IFS shopping mall complex - named LOVE.FOUND. (co-artist Simone Carena) and a 7-meter tall metal-chrome camellia tree. During the project, which lasted one year, I did a lot of research on flowers and how to express them. I sketched a lot of camellias and ways to make it more interesting. It is during this time that I fell in love with flowers and nature and decided to quit my 18 years of career in advertising and start the journey of depicting flowers and nature. I have been painting ever since and find it very therapeutic and self-satisfying. 

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We love that some of your work is minimalist while other pieces have more complex layering and patterns. Can you tell us about what inspires you? 

It was a long train of thought and curiosity that led to these two very different types of paintings. I personally called them the "seed series" and "ball series." As I started to dig into and experimenting with different ways of expressing flowers, I became more curious about the anatomy of the flower. Something not everyone draws about when they draw beautiful outskirt of flowers. What I learned from the biological anatomy diagrams of flowers was that all flowers carry female and male parts and what I thought were the seeds of flowers were only pollens and that the seeds are carried deep inside the ovary and ovule. This was very intriguingand interesting to me, and it inspired me to start painting flowers always emphasizing on the seeds that they carry. I also started to imagine them all around us in nature, how they strive to survive and get transferred to other flowers, and so on. To me, it somehow reflects human life and what we go through in life. For the "ball series," it began when I started to draw a lot of circles for the "seed series." It was very fun and interesting to me how circles affect the space around it. It gives a sense of motion even in a still 2-dimensional space. It is a perfect round-edge shape but provides oddness. I was inspired to just use circles (balls) and the most minimal expression to depict this tension. When I want to tell a very complicated story and put a title to the "ball series" pieces, it makes perfect sense!

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What is your process like? Do you do a lot of sketching or make work more intuitively? 

I do a few sketches before just to make sure what is already in my head looks okay on flat surface. 

Describe your current studio or creative space. What is most important about it or one thing that you definitely need in your work area?

My creative space is an extra room at my place that I transformed into my workspace. There is no most important "thing" for me. I just need absolute silence and natural sunlight. I love my big window. 

What is your favorite thing about being an artist? That I can transform my thoughts and feelings into art. I don't need to organize my thoughts into PowerPoint slides and excel sheets and use fancy words to write about it. I just draw them. I feel free!

Wenyan Xu
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Wenyan Xu began her career in art almost twenty years ago as a BFA student studying in the Academy of Art & Design, Tsinghua University, a top art college in China. In order to further understand contemporary art, she journeyed across continents to study art in the United States. Having completed her M.A. in the Art and Visual Culture Education Program at the University of Arizona, she focused on her artistic process and production. Through the M.F.A. painting program at Indiana University in Bloomington, she is fulfilling her artistic dream. Her paintings had been shown nationally and internationally, including at the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC), China; the Verum Ultimum Art Gallery, Portland, OR, U.S.A; and the M.A.D Gallery, Milan, Italy.

Statement

My current body of work is about space-time and emotion. Through my painting, I invite viewers to experience a journey from space to time, to engage in the interweaving of emotion and reality, and to be aware of spiritual energy versus the limits of daily life.

Space-time is a physics concept, which describes the universe with the three dimensions of space and the one dimension of time. We usually think that we are not able to live beyond space-time and are only subject to reality, yet never realized that our emotions can change the track that we go through. The human emotion is historical, interrelated, spontaneous, unarticulated and passionate in my painting. Emotion, as an innermost power of human, has been spreading the energy throughout human history and contributing to our civilization. How much do we give credit to this internal motivation? Instead, knowledge, skills, and intelligence are regarded as main drivers for the development of society. In my opinion, knowledge, skills, and intelligence can only build a world in three dimensions. Their product can last and add up throughout the length of time but cannot exceed it. However, emotion can go beyond space and time. It can outreach the world of four dimensions, target a location in the chaos of four-dimensional space, and then build a time tunnel, which you had not anticipated but would go later on in your life. Therefore, emotion has a different dimension with reality in my work. It also has potential energy to change reality, the world in three dimensions.

The reality is abrupt and rational, devoting itself to breaking down and rebuilding our emotions. I abstract marks and symbols from daily life to display a sober and unordered present. They represent rules and laws unassociated with personal emotions.

www.wenyanxu.org

Xi Zhang 

Xi Zhang’s paintings manifest the psychological weight experienced in moments of turmoil and tribulations. In his oneiric narratives, melancholia is a familiar companion – overbearing landscapes and foreboding atmospheres suppress his lonely protagonists, obscuring the delineation of fantasy and reality. Conflating the styles of the East and the West, Zhang’s luscious brushstrokes recall water-colored mountains of antique Chinese scrolls, but also the staining of the Abstract Expressionists such as Helen Frankenthaler. It is upon Zhang’s cathartic vistas that such polarities congeal. 

Born in 1984 in Kaifeng, China, Xi Zhang completed his studies in painting at China’s Beijing Institute of Art and Design. He moved to the United States to further his artistic training at Denver, Colorado’s Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from RMCAD in 2008, and that same year was recognized by then Denver Post art critic Kyle MacMillan as the “Emerging Artist of the Year” for his “well-developed, surprisingly mature vision.” Zhang continued from there with his masters studies in painting at the University of Colorado, Boulder, receiving his MFA from the institution in 2011. 

Zhang’s work had notable shows including Song Zhuang Multimedia Art Exhibition at Song Zhuang Art Museum in Beijing (2006), URRA in Argentina (Buenos Aires 2012), Ornaments at White House (2012), and Biennale of America in U.S. (2013). His work was featured on media as CNN (2011), Art ltd Magazine (2012), PBS (2013), NPR (2013), and Juxtapoz Magazine (2014). Zhang also was awarded Emerging Artist of Year (2008), The Pathmaker (2011), Top twelve artists under age 35 (2012), The Catherine Doctorow Prize in Contemporary painting (Nominated 2015), The John Moores Painting Prize (China, Finalist 2016), and Gold Award Winner in painting from Art Forward Contest (2016). 

Zhang is represented by PLUS Contemporary Fine Arts Gallery in Denver and Marc Straus Gallery in New York.