Mochou:Recent Works by Qiu Zhijie - New York
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[楼主] art-pa-pa 2009-03-19 11:47:43

Mochou:Recent Works by Qiu Zhijie

March 12 – May 9, 2009

Scheduled to open at Chambers Fine Art New York on March 12, 2009 Mochou: recent works by Qiu Zhijie is an exhibition that nearly did not happen. During the preparations for the current exhibition at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing – Qiu Zhijie: Breaking through the Ice – Qiu Zhijie began working on a series of fourteen paintings in ink on paper related to a series of larger works on the same theme exhibited at Chambers Fine Art Beijing in 2008. Well known as an artist who thrives on challenges, this exhibition was more than he bargained for.

The works arrived at JFK on March 5 but on March 11 the works had not yet been released by US Customs, making it likely that the exhibition opening would indeed be a “failure,” the theme underlying the full range of works related to the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge and the related Mochou legends. Fortunately Qiu Zhijie had arrived in New York on March 10 and responding to the desperate situation, agreed to paint directly on the gallery walls. In the morning brushes and ink were purchased in Chinatown and during frequent breaks for smoking on the steps outside the gallery building, he drew a series of very rough sketches for the three walls and one partial wall of the gallery. Beginning at 3pm on March 11, he worked continuously without sleeping for the next twenty hours, putting the finishing touches and adding inscriptions around 11am the day of the opening. Then he crashed and nearly missed the opening later in the day.

The resulting wall-paintings are an extraordinary accomplishment, among the best works of this prolific and highly inventive artist. Whether linked by formal similarities or playful analogies, the isolated objects and larger groupings in the wall-paintings frequently reference classical Chinese themes and imagery. He also incorporated a number of objects that had caught his eye during the twenty–four largely sleepless hours he had so far spent in New York (a conch-shell in the apartment where he was staying, straws that accompanied cold drinks purchased at a Vietnamese restaurant in Chinatown ). Further personal references were added to the free-wheeling imagery on the wall, notably the hand of his recently born daughter opening a classic Chinese text Image of the World next to the gallery entrance.

Having worked in the full range of media available to the artist today including video, installation and performance for most of his career, Qiu Zhijie had mostly relegated his skills as a painter and calligrapher to a background role. Faced with this challenge, however, he pulled out all the stops, rediscovering skills and techniques that had been latent for many years. When it is increasingly common for successful artists to work with large numbers of assistants, Qiu Zhijie shows that there is no substitute for the intimate relationship between the hand of the artist and the materials he is using.

Strategically placed on the walls are Xeroxes of the paintings exhibited in Beijing and the fourteen works still with US Customs. The wall paintings will be on display until May 9, at which time they will be painted over.

[沙发:1楼] art-pa-pa 2009-03-20 16:48:54

Mochou (exhibition in Chambers fine arts, Beijing)

October 25 through December 6, 2008

Opening reception: Saturday, October 25, 3-5pm

In recent years Qiu Zhijie has been focusing on projects that require extensive travel and documentation in association with the production of works of art in a variety of media. Beginning with his association with the first phase of the Long March Project, continuing with his epic journey from Lhasa to Khatmandu in the footsteps of Nain Singh and now with his deep involvement with the city of Nanjing, Qiu Zhijie has embarked on an ambitious cultural voyage, investigating aspects of Chinese history and culture as they impinge on life today. Most ambitious by far is A Suicidology of the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge, the title for an ongoing project involving documentation, research and social activism (in this case, working with a suicide-prevention squad) in association with the production of works of art in many media. Mochou is affiliated with Qiu Zhijie's gesamtkunstwerk though in an indirect way.

His association with Nanjing began in 2005 when he curated Archaeology of the Future, the second Nanjing Triennial. From the second half of 2007, he began to focus on the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge and in particular the relationship between this potent symbol and the high rate of suicides that occur there. Research and documentation led to a wide range of artistic productions, including a group of editioned prints and unique works on paper made at Singapore Tyler Print Institute and independent installations such as Mochou.

Related to one of the lithographs, the installation at Chambers Fine Art Beijing is based on the legend of Mochou, a young girl who lived in the Qin Dynasty, who was so poor that she had to sell herself to pay for her father's funeral. Deeply unhappy in her marriage, she committed suicide in the lake that now bears her name and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nanjing .

The central feature of Qiu Zhijie's installation is a large, crystalline abstract sculpture, originally a scholar's rock from which all the naturally formed projections have been sliced off. These are attached to the wall of the gallery. A path for the blind enables the visually impaired to touch the rocks and feel their way around the gallery while a stream of water trickles down the abstract sculpture, beginning the process that will eventually return it to its original form as a scholar's rock. Accompanying the installation is a new series of woodcuts and ink drawings on paper, further variations on Qiu Zhijie's haunting and mysterious imagery. By focusing on the bridge which is such a potent symbol of China's emerging power and related themes from China's past such as Mochou, Qiu Zhijie explores themes such as time, memory and destiny, issues that have always been central to his interests in whatever medium he worked.

For more information on Qiu Zhijie, please see his website:
[板凳:2楼] guest 2011-10-21 14:28:17
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