Venus at the Outlets Mall was Qiu Xiaofei’s critical attempt to look at painting through the perspective of an object. The sculpture in his work is the one found in the outlets mall close to his studio, but the disproportional ratio in the night setting has made the sculptural replica into a referential point, what Qiu Xiaofei was more interested in commanding was the object in the painting, painting as the object, and the possible relationships between the object and the painting. In addition, he adjusted the sentimental qualities in these relationships on the pictorial, color and material levels. Eventually, the painting and the image, color and lighting, site and material became mutually interrupting yet congruent factors to the overall composition. This phase marked Qiu Xiaofei’s transition from “image” to “painting” when the physical quality of the painting is recognized and represented, could painting truly confronts today’s experience as a conventional vehicle, and Qiu Xiaofei’s recent works experiment on a different level as he preserves this medium. Qiu Xiaofei’s transition from being “academic” to “pictorial”, to “installation” and lastly returning to “painting”, seems to follow a logic against the artistic form, but one that embodies a true understanding of precedent and subsequent painting practices in contemporary Chinese art.
Qiu Xiaofei, Venus at the Outlets Mall, Oil on canvas, light, wood, 480×470×358cm, 2013
Wang Xingwei, Ji Gong, oil on canvas, 240×200cm, 2015
Both Wang Xingwei’s Ji Gong and Duan Jianyu’s The Muse has Awoken No.3 both offer conspicuous comical impressions, which on the one hand, articulate a kind of literary comedy from the narrations of the figures on canvas, their expressions, motion, theatricality and etc., while stylistically – be it Wang Xingwei’s compositional momentum and the exaggeration rendered through brushwork, or Duan Jianyu’s kitsch and crass emphasis – give shape to the comedy of mannerism, providing theatricality for the language of painting. Thirdly, they are comical on a cultural history level as they have adopted the Baroque style to portray the Mad Monk and placed the Goddess on Dunhuang murals into modern countryside context, this kind of casual yet poignant fusion has taken the “La Comédie Humaine” approach to respond to the rapidly evolving Chinese society and the unsettled dust of cultural order.
Zhu Jia, Repeat On Purpose
将一台超级 8 毫米摄影机放置在冰箱最里端的角落里，镜头朝向冰箱门，开启摄录键，将摄影机处在自动录影的状态下，关上冰箱门。再打开冰箱门，随意的拿取一件东西；关上冰箱门。再次打开冰箱门随意的放置一件东西；关上冰箱门。反反复复重复这组动作。冰箱门打开时冰箱的照明灯被开启，录影机自动记录下有光照状态下的影像，冰箱门关闭时，录影机则记录下没有图像的图像。作品既是在这两种交替的状态下将时间延续着。将声音部分主动的去除，是强调图像本身存在的主观性。