Zhu Yiqing

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Biography[edit]

Zhu Yiqing (b. 1974 Nantong, Jiangsu Province) is a Beijing-based artist. Cooperating with the other artist Xue Yongjun, they formed an "artists group" and started to create and paint together.
Born in 1970s when China was in economic reform and opening-up, Zhu Yiqing and Xue Yongjun have seen the invasion of western cultures and capitalism values, the prevailing of Japanese cartoon culture as well as the significant influence of computers and Internet on China. All those historical changes have inspired them with deep thinking towards art, inspiring them to study on modern cultural collision from the view of artists and finally choosing the traditional Chinese seal as the medium of creation.[1]

The subjects of Zhu and Xue’s creations mainly cover three aspects including the political images of national flag and politicians, traditional cultural images of classical paintings both eastern and western as well as the popular and consumption cultural images of the idol stars and products logos.

Zhu and Xue with their artworks show a strong sense of duality on the selection of subjects, the usage of medium and skills and the formal expression, trying to eliminate the boundaries between the east and the west, the native and the foreign, the traditional and the modern, the handmade and the machinery as well as the perspective and the plane, thus creating any possible balance among those conflicts or contradictions and outlining the new image painting of digital era. [2]

Art Review[edit]

As China’s traditional cultural symbol, seal stands for not only social status but also power, showing exactly the Chinese values. This is also why Zhu Yiqing and Xue Yongjun are determined to paint with seals: to respond to the complex collision of modern culture with the multi-meanings of seals from elementary language to token of status. As the artists explain how they choose images for painting, “We choose those representative ones and deconstruct them to present the pixelized features of computer age. The deconstruction endows the images with internal connections, making them carriers of the subjects that the artists require for the artworks. As the images have been reduced of its original meanings with the variation, they exist in status of collision, shatter, variation and melting.” [ Extracted from the interview with the artists via email.] In other words, the composition of seals is in its simplest form what the artists try to express the process of cultural collision, shatter, variation and melting, appropriately expressing their unique perspectives towards cultural interaction.

Given the concept of cultural collision, transforming the political flag and celebrities, classical paintings of great cultural meanings and celebrities in popular culture into seals designs of cultural and commodity symbols, Zhu Yiqing and Xue Yongjun are implanting those Chinese-style vocabularies into the paintings, expressing with which the resistance to foreign cultures. For example, the Made in China series, their latest creation in 2009 has built the totems of the two world powers of China and America from both the real and illusionary perspectives. The Chinese banner with both Chairman Mao Zedong’s portrait and the five-star red flag in Made in China – Chinese Flag together with the symbol consisting of capitalism brand signs in another painting, though of totally different subjects, does not only satirize the current cultural problems of consumption, but also reflect the fact that China is drawing closer to capitalism.

Seals were invented to reproduce images in great amount conveniently. However, Zhu Yiqing and Xue Yongjun cast off the convenient and simple nature of seals when painting with them, changing the features of seals from printing-like into painting with a complicated process. All of the seals they use are carved by themselves at a very slow speed, and are then overprinted on canvas one by one, revealing a brand new painting way completely different from Pop Art’s speed duplication. From plane surface to space, from characters to paintings, and from the images composition to illusions, the creation does not only show a new connection and balance between printing and painting, the plane and the perspective, as well as the machinery duplication and handmade production, but also implicate the two artists’ perceptual explanation during the seemingly rational constructing. Conflicting yet merging on the visual experience, it is the dual nature of the two artists’ artworks, which is also the impression they show to the audience. [3]

Exhibition[edit]

  • 1997 Contemporary Art Exhibition in Liuhaisu Museum
  • 1999 Solo Exhibition at Shanghai Yige Gallery
  • 2004 Group Exhibition at Beijing National Art Camp
  • 2005 Solo Exhibition at New Art Space Gallery
  • 2008 Go China!--Chinese Contemporary Artists,Mountain Art Beijing & Frank Lin Art Center, Beijing
  • 2008 Fragility of Duplication——Exhibition of Zhu Yiqing & Xue Yongjun, Mountain Art Beijing & Frank Lin Art Center,798 Beijing
  • 2009 Art & Home, Group Show, Mountain Art Beijing & Frank Lin Art Center, Beijing
  • 2010 Made in China——Exhibition of Zhu Yiqing & Xue Yongjun, Mountain Art Beijing & Frank Lin Art Center, 798
  • 2011 Mapping Asia-Young Asian Artists Solo Shows,CIGE 2011, Beijing
  • 2011 Made in China-New Chinese Contemporary Art Scene, National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Taipei
  • 2011 Shanghai Contemporary 2011,Shanghai Exhibition Hall,Shanghai
  • 2011 Made in China-New Chinese Contemporary Art Scene, Mountain Art Beijing & Frank Lin Art Center,798 Beijing
  • 2011 Language of Flowers-Group Exhibition of Artist, Mountain Art Beijing & Frank Lin Art Center,798 Beijing
  • 2012 Art Beijing 2012 National Agricultural Exhibition Center
  • 2012 Globalization / Localization——Exhibition of Zhu Yiqing & Xue Yongjun, Mountain Art Beijing & Frank Lin Art Center,798 Beijing

References[edit]

  1. ^ Picture Album of Zhu Yiqing & Xue Yongjun Fragility of Duplication
    Published by Mountain Art Beijing & Frank Lin Art Center in 2008
  2. ^ Picture Album of Zhu Yiqing & Xue Yongjun Made in China
    Published by Mountain Art Beijing & Frank Lin Art Center in 2010
  3. ^ Guard on the Cultural Print and Notch- On Paintings of Zhu Yiqing and Xue Yongjun,Andre Lee,"Made in China-New Chinese Contemporaray Art Scene", Mountain Arts, Culture, and Education Foundation. ISBN 978-957-99981-9-2

External links[edit]

Zhu Yiqing & Xue Yongjun on Artnet

Fragility of Duplication- Zhu Yiqing & Xue Yongjun Works Exhibition on Artlinkart

Made in China- Exhibition by Zhu Yiqing & Xue Yongjun on Artlinkart