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"XIANG Liqing: In the Middle of Change - Oil Paintings, Photos and Works on Paper"
2001-09-30 until 2001-10-07
ShanghART
Shanghai, , CN China

In the beginning of his career, Xiang Liqing first started to make himself known as a photographer. However, his talents extents far beyond just photography and a series of his works reflecting his special and unique interpretation of images are testimony to this fact.

Initially, Xiang Liqing focused his camera on uniform and ordinary residential buildings to be found in any Chinese city. After careful selection and elaborate photography, he cut the pictures into small fragment-like units. Following computer processing, these fragments were made into new vividly colored pictures with a Bop-like effect. The crowded fragments were arranged in geometrical spaces just like a puzzle, creating an unimaginable psychological tension. Later, he became infatuated with colorful soap bubbles, deeply imbued with social and economic symbolism. The vehicles of various dreams, these soap bubbles floated high in the urban air only to be burst by a finger or needle. Afterwards, shifting his focus to the ego, Xiang Liqing took a series of pictures with autobiographic and literary imagery. What remained unchanged was that these pictures too were cut into fragments of various extents and overlapped, squeezed, torn and placed askew, resulting in unfathomable works marked with a certain hollowness and ambiguity. 

Recently, Xiang Liqing completed a new series of oil paintings. At first glance, they might appear abstract, however, further observation will see viewers realizing representational concepts. The images are all human beings, human beings arranged as if in a maze. They are just like fragments that constitute society. Existing within their negligible and insignificant daily life, all their identities, personalities and characteristics are eliminated. In the works of Xiang Liqing, they are just images composed of brushstrokes. The only value to their existence is to comprise an imperfect ornamental canvas. Xiang Liqing said, “this is my direct feeling about people, behaviors of the people in my pictures are illusory, collectivized, lonely, affected and blind.”

It is absolutely likely for an artist to have comprehensive creative abilities. However, due to limited efforts, they usually prematurely position themselves as oil painters, traditional Chinese painters, sculptors or photographers. The definition is conducive for organizations to identify artists’ status and falls in with the traffic rules of commercial operations. However, when we look back at the history of art, we discover that each ancient Chinese artist simultaneously possessed accomplishments in literature, calligraphy, painting and seal cutting. Since the Renaissance to modern times, there have also been many western artists with a comprehensive range of accomplishments. Young Xiang Liqing, who persists in his exploration of cross-discipline art, will no doubt provide us with clear and ample proof of his abundant creative energies. I believe that the continual increase in his variety of creative means, my eyes will be present with an even greater expression of Xiang Liqing’s world of images.

Li Xu, curator, Shanghai Art Museum


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