Qiu Xiaofei, Venus at the Outlets Mall, Oil on canvas, light, wood, 480×470×358cm, 2013

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.

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Chen Dandizi, I’m Awake Tonight, 2021, Two-channel video, color, sound 3’19”

Once I saw this video on YouTube, a compilation of moments of capture in
animal hunts from the North American Hunting Association. With the hunter’s gun locked in place, the animals were cursed and unable to escape. The second before being shot, their eyes look confused and fearful, stared straight in the direction of humans, and then all fell to the ground with a thud. I felt confused and vulnerable by this violent energy, as a user commented under the video: The most dangerous animal in the world.
Although hunting is ancient and primitive, I felt uncomfortable revisiting a killing “spree” in such an intense and unequal way. In another sense, it resonates with the human pleasure of pursuing absolute power. Therefore, I took this video of the hunt and juxtaposed it with another
video. I banged out some negative words on a brass plate and tuned up the metal clanging sound to echo the sound of the gunshots in the former video. On the screen, a blinking of huge eyes shows startling unease from hearing loud noises. It looks directly into the camera lens, making it impossible to avoid, with which to provoke the viewer’s fearful association
with other related matters.

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