Arts – Michael Goedhuis on the artist Qiu Deshu
The Asia Scotland Institute is delighted to offer this video from Michael Goedhuis on the artist Qiu Deshu.
Michael, a previous speaker at the Institute, has over the last 20 years established himself as a pioneer in the field of modern and contemporary Chinese art. He now represents many of the most important artists in the field. The culmination of these early pioneering years was the comprehensive exhibition – China without Borders with Sotheby’s New York in 2001. More recently, his focus has been on Chinese Contemporary Ink Art and hence his interest in the art of Qiu Deshu. Qui Deshu, one of the few artists to have inspired international recognition since the 1980s, studied traditional ink painting and seal carving when he was a child. However, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution interrupted his career in art when he was sent to work at a plastics factory. In the late 1970s, Qiu picked up ink painting again and co-founded the Grass Painting Society (caocao hua she), one of China’s first experimental art societies in the post-Mao period. In the early 1980s, he developed his signature style of works called “fissuring” (liebian). This is a pictorial metaphor for the artist’s life and his artistic career, both of which have experienced dramatic disruptions and setbacks. In these works, he applies vivid colors to xuan paper, which he tears up and then mounts the fragments to a base layer, often leaving space between to create a pictorial field with the “cracks” that he feels are symbolic of life’s journey.