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Paintings by Qiu Shihua


April 14 – May 28, 2005

Insight, Installation view


Installation view

Although widely exhibited in Hong Kong and Europe, this is the first major exhibition of Qiu Shihua's work in the United States. Qiu Shihua is older than the talented group of artists who first began to emerge in the mid-1980s. He was born in Sichuan in 1940 and graduated from the Xi'an Academy of Art in 1962. His career as an artist was cut short, however, by the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) and it was not until 1984 that he was able to move to Shenzhen where he is still based.

Unlike the younger generation of artists who have for the most part turned their back on oil painting, Qiu Shihua found his initial inspiration in the French Impressionists whose work he saw in person for the first time in the mid-1980s. In 1989, however, a profound change occurred. As John Tancock has observed: "After years of painting in his spare time, he decided to give up his job and abandon the comforts of a bourgeois lifestyle. Since he was a child living in the provinces he had been familiar with the concepts of Daoism, Buddhism and Confucianism but had not delved too deeply into any of them. Once he had made the decision to become a serious practitioner of Daoism, his painting style changed completely, losing its moorings in the real world and soaring into a more rarefied atmosphere".

During the last twenty years Qiu Shihua's style has evolved gradually from the earthbound to the immaterial, from misty landscapes based on memories of his childhood in north-west China to the rarefied atmosphere of his most recent works. Like the black paintings of Ad Reinhardt or some of the more compelling works of James Turrell, Qiu Shihua's mystical paintings require time and patience for the subtle adjustments in tone to register. As he has said: "Everything is flat and calm. 'Form' is unimportant. It is like being in meditation, when the entire cosmos looks like a white mist. Here, time and space seem to be annihilated. Human passions do not matter."

*Catalogue Available

尽管邱世华在香港和欧洲举办过大规模的展览,在前波画廊的这次展出,将是他在全美的首次重要个展。与八十年代涌现出的富有才华的年轻中国艺术家相比较,邱世华年纪稍长。他于1940年出生在四川,1962 年毕业于西安美术学院。他的艺术创作因为文化大革命而被迫终止,直至1984年移居深圳后才开始。

不像年轻一代的艺术家,失去了对油画创作的兴趣,邱世华八十年代中期第一次亲眼目睹法国印象派作品,并深受其影响。正 如唐冠科在图录文章中指出:“邱世华以前都是用业余时间作画。现在他决定决心,放弃舒适的中产阶级生活,辞去工作,一心创作绘画。他在农村长大,对道教,佛教和儒教都很熟悉,但从未深入研究过。自从他决定信仰道教以来,他的艺术风格发生了本质性的变化,在现实世界中放松,并向更崇高的境界快速发展。”

在过去的二十年中,邱世华的创作风格逐步从世俗的束缚转变为无形的精神追求, 从童年记忆中中国西北神秘的风景画,转变为表现现实世界的崇高境界。就好像 Ad Reinhardt 的黑色绘画,和 James Turrell 一些令人瞩目的作品一样,邱世华神秘的绘画创作需要时间和耐心,才能去记录这个微妙的调整。 邱世华形容自己的作品:“每一件东西都平淡而宁静。 形状并不重要。就好像打坐一样,整个宇宙看起来像一团白雾。这里,时间和空间都不存在。人的关系也无关紧要。“


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