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Remembrance of images past

By Sun Shuangjie (Global Times)

14:14, February 06, 2013

Qiu Xiaofei's work Disappearing and Unfinished (GT Photo)

Looking at his enormous one-square-meter works, Qiu Xiaofei told the Global Times that he had no idea how his oil paintings will turn out when he first decides to put brush to canvas.

His works usually being with a simple depiction of an everyday sight, and then Qiu will alter the images on the canvas by applying layer upon layer of paint, informed by new thoughts as they come into his mind.

And Disappearing and Unfinished, an artwork showcased at Qiu's solo exhibition at the Minsheng Art Museum, perfectly exemplifies the creative process of this Beijing-based artist.

The work features an oil painting with a burnt wooden stick attached to it. The painting depicts a corner of a room with an open door where viewers can see three suitcases, either laid on the floor or suspended in the air. And rather than people carrying the cases, there are only disembodied hands holding them.

According to Qiu, the work started with a painting of two people with three suitcases in a room. But several weeks later he covered the human figures so that they disappeared into the color of the walls. Several weeks after that he decided to add a burned wooden stick to the work as he felt there was an "inner connection" between the painting and the wood.

"It's really hard to explain the reason why I made such alterations; it can relate to my personal perception of colors and shapes or to the memories in my mind," Qiu told the Global Times.

"But the truth is that I enjoy the process of challenging myself by making changes and, in the end, creating something that is far removed from the ordinary images I began with," said the artist.

Entitled as Repetition, Qiu's solo exhibition comprises three sections, each covering different periods of the artist's life.

The aforementioned work comes from Qiu's recent creation, and is showcased in the last section entitled "Subconscious." Artworks in this section are usually a combination of oil paintings and installations.

Childhood memories

The first section, "Hallucination," features early works by Qiu dating back seven years.

Displayed in a black space, Heilongjiang Box, Landscapes along the River, and See Through, reveal Qiu's imitative works of pictures and illustrations that he was familiar with during his childhood in the 1980s.

Meanwhile the second section, "Preconscious," showcases dozens of sketches carried out by Qiu before he was eight years old.

"The exhibition is not only a showcase of my paintings, but it also reveals the differing motivations behind those works."

Date: Until March 7, 10 am to 6 pm (closed on Mondays)
Venue: Minsheng Art Museum
Address: Bldg F, Red Town, 570 Huaihai Road West
Admission: Free
Call 6282-8729 for detailed information

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