Qiu Zhijie (b.1969, Fujian Province) graduated from the printmaking department of the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts (now China Academy of Art), Hangzhou in 1992. Since the 1990s he has become one of the most active conceptual artists in China, as well as being one of the most diverse: his many identities include artist, curator, writer, professor, and scholar.Read More
Considered an intellectual force in the contemporary Chinese art world, his artistic activities are heavily informed by historical, social and academic issues that are often contentious or possessing significant cultural import. An artistic scholar whose practice challenges traditional philosophies in direct relation to the social condition of contemporary China, Qiu Zhijie’s multifarious practice embraces a diverse range of media, from printmaking, video, photography, performance, sculpture and painting.
From the investigation of the written word in Chinese traditional culture through calligraphy and the method of learning through copying of the great masters, to the investigation of historical monuments/places (such as Tibet and Nanjing Bridge), Qiu Zhijie consistently questions the cultural foundations upon which contemporary China is understood and perceived, from both a national and international perspective. Concepts of time, cultural memory, the meaning and role of historical consciousness, the questioning of what constitutes the ‘contemporary’, all of these and more are important subjects to which Qiu uniquely investigates, often in collaboration with his students.
Qiu Zhijie curated the influential exhibition Post-sense Sensibility: Alien Bodies and Delusion, initiating the earliest new media activity in China. In 2002, he joined Long March Project – A Walking Visual Display as co-curator and since 2003 he has been hugely influential in his method of teaching as Professor, Total Art Studio, China Academy of Art and Culture Research Center, China Academy of Art, Hangzhou. His concept of ‘Total Art’ is based on cultural research and conceptual practice inherent within ideas of artistic creation and curatorial practice. Major exhibitions include: Ataraxic of Zhuang Zi – A Suicidology of the Nanjing Yangzi River Bridge, Shanghai Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, China, 2008 (solo); The Real Thing: Contemporary Art from China, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, UK, 2007; 2nd Yokohama Triennale, Japan, 2005; 25th Sao Paulo Biennale, Brazil, 2002 and Transience: Chinese Experimental Art at the End of Twentieth Century, The Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago, USA, 1999.
Biennials are inherently messy. Gathering hundreds of pieces by international artists working in different mediums creates an exponential number of echoes and dissonances. Their messiness differs, though, in kind and degree, as exemplified in recent Shanghai Biennales.
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Running until 18 January 2018, Qiu Zhijie: Journeys Without Arrivals focuses on the work of the artist Qiu Zhijie, who made waves for his satirical, often tongue-in-cheek calligraphic maps of the
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