Spices, Xie Nanxing’s solo exhibition, was on view at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) from March 17 to May 27, 2018. The exhibition consisted of a new cycle of seven major oil paintings through which the artist explores his own relationship to European art history and iconography. The “spices” Xie presented was richly varied, offering viewers a marvelous visual feast.
At the end of the exhibition, a catalogue under the same name was published with the support of NCAF to inspire new and deeper discussion into the topic. Spices was officially released on May 26, 2018.
As a witness of Xie’s painting series, Dong Menyang, the author of Spices, managed to further the interpretation of the painting series to a broader and higher dimension. By building the connection between painting history and contemporary concept, between visual images and poetic imagery, the somewhat fragmented reviews were no longer regular comments on artworks but a kind of intertextuality between the images and the texts.
Following the foreword of Spices, the seven major oil paintings of Xie Nanxing’s exhibition were featured, giving readers a holistic and intuitive visual impression of the Spices series. In the following chapters, each of the works were intentionally inserted into pages that were not fully cut off, denoting to the metaphor of “obstacle” and “misreading”. In this way, the mysterious association inspired by spices were once again interpreted.