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.
This work is based on works by Edward Hopper (1882–1967). Using a “realist” scene constructed by Hopper as a prototype, seven original works are intertwined with past works by the artist. The “reality of art” re-interprets the “super-arty” world. The whole mime is interspersed with the artist’s expressions concerning “arty” and “super-arty”. All of the features that appear in this work point to an exploration of “art” itself. One could say that without the artist’s misinterpretation of “art”, there would certainly be no better definition of “Super-Arty”.