Chambers Fine Art is pleased to announce the opening on The Shape of Time by Qiu Zhijie. Born in Fujian Province in 1969, Qiu Zhijie was trained in printmaking at the Zhejiang Fine Arts Academy, Hangzhou from which he graduated in 1993. It was through works such as the photo-based Tattoo 1 and 11 and “Orchid Pavilion Preface” One Thousand Times (1986-1997), an investigation into the principles and meaning of calligraphy, both included in the influential exhibition Inside/Out in 1998, that his work first became familiar to US collectors.
What this sampling of his work did not reveal, however, was the broad range of his activities. Unlike many of his contemporaries who concentrated on one medium, whether painting, photography or work of a more conceptual, performance based nature, Qiu Zhijie has been active in photography, video, and installation art as well as in curating exhibitions and writing about contemporary Chinese art. Decidedly inter-disciplinary in his interests, he is one of the most challenging and unpredictable artists working in China today.
For the current exhibition the focus is on photo-based works that unite several aspects of his broad range of interests, calligraphy and photography. In Twenty Four Seasons, he used a flashlight to write the names of the traditional twenty–four seasonal markers (jieqi) in locations that range from Beijing to Macao and Dartington Hall in England. This striking series unites in meaningful way Qiu Zhijie’s activities as calligrapher, performance artist and photographer. In Galaxy of Names the light-writing technique is used to inscribe the names of individuals he has encountered in his life, intimates as well as mere acquaintances. As described in the introduction to the catalogue: “In Qiu Zhijie’s life, each person is a star. They shine and radiate with light, some longer than others, but eventually all of them will vanish. As the artist has said, “even a fixed star has a limited lifetime – it will disappear one day and become a black hole.”
*A catalog designed by the artist will be available.