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'Rising star' draws inspiration from memories

By Wang Jie (Shanghai Daily)

08:49, January 25, 2013

Young contemporary artist Qiu Xiaofei wanted to be a rock star and create art with music - by comparison, painting seemed prosaic.

But now - in only his mid-30s and considered a rising star - he finds painting and installation a satisfying way to express himself, his memories and his feelings about the results of China's modernization.

He is famous for realistic and impressionistic works addressing memory, perception and reality, evoking both nostalgia and irony.

His colors evoke the mineral pigments characteristic of Chinese painting as well as the printed images and posters of the 1960s and 1970s.

His current solo exhibition is titled "Repetition," a reference to Soren Kirkegaard's observation, "Repetition and recollection are the same movement, except in opposite directions, for what is recollected has been, is repeated backwards; whereas genuine repetition is recollected forward."

This is a bit obscure, as are elements of the exhibition. It contains a black, blue and yellow room, entered sequentially and titled "Hallucination," "Preconscious" and "Subconscious," respectively. It includes early and new works.

Early works evoke both nostalgia and scepticism. One work in the exhibition titled "Anxiety," depicts a young boy wearing a laurel wreath and a medal, marking him as a hero. He also wears a blank expression indicating that he under-whelmed or bewildered by the accolade.

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