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(images courtesy of Art Plural Gallery)

Last Thursday, Art Plural Gallery unveiled the opening of Chinese artist Qiu Jie’s show, featuring 30 latest works by the artist. Couture Troopers was present for the opening that day, and we were absolutely thrilled to see his works in person!

Straddling Chinese aesthetics and Western popular culture, the artist deals in a difficult, but common medium — the pencil, creating artworks in size and magnitude that we cannot believe is possible for such a modest tool. Up close his pencil strokes steal our breaths away, gorgeous form, subtle light and shades, fine and exquisite lines evoking beautiful and varied textures.

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(images courtesy of Art Plural Gallery)

Qiu Jie draws influences from an infinite panel of sources: from newspapers to advertisings, to paintings and photos. Subtle Chinese aesthetics of lotus flowers, plum blossoms, bamboo and pine rest impeccably next to ladies in corsets, coiffed hair, bright lipsticks and penciled eyebrows. Their expressions are distant, suspended in time. Their bodies are beautiful, but elevated.

And ever present with these images is the identity of “Mao” — the cat: mysterious, aloof, changeable; at times, a political figure in traditional suit, other times, a gentleman teeming with masculinity. 

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(image courtesy of Art Plural Gallery)

To Qiu Jie, however, his artwork is not a “political statement but “an aesthetic commitment”.

Describes the artist:

“Some come from the political scene, others not. I am not confronting communism. For me, it is funny to juxtapose a revolutionary figure to a nakd woman. It is a way to provoke the other side, the side of people who look at art… It is a game and I create a play.”

(images courtesy of Art Plural Gallery)

Meticulous in detail and ever precise in form, Qiu Jie was schooled in realism, a style that informs his artworks even till today. The clever interweaving of different narrative styles produces a strange and jarring effect. Although set in a different time and space, can we not say this story is also reflective of our own?

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Qiu Jie’s art exhibition will be running from 13 September – 26 October at Art Plural Gallery, so do drop by if you can!

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Posted by:xinlinw

"I’m an artist and writer who likes literature, prints, patterns and weird ideas. Some of these things have no relation to one another, but if you do think about it, they actually do."

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