Jiang Xu is active/lives in China. Jiang Xu is known for painting.
Biography from Poly Auction Hong Kong
Jiang Xu (Chinese, Born 1955) A Ferryman for Eastern and Western Cultures
What we need to do, is to seek out the fundamentals of our time in this
long voyage of cross-cultural pursuit. In this "Dichotomy of the East
and West", one should gradually shake-off the shadow of an imagination
of the Orient and reconstructs a Chinese cultural consciousness and
identity that is based on a historical and cultural perspective which is
deeply rooted in a contemporary and living milieu and that is creative
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Xu Jiang graduated from the Department of Oil Painting of the China Academy of Art in
1982. Xu Jiang then pursued further study at the College of Fine Arts Hamburg in Germany. The deep impact of cultural differences in a
foreign country inspired him to carry out an unprecedented look into the
classics and exploration. He started to be interested in Ba Da Shan-ren
(Zhu Da), Shi Tao, I Ching, Lao-Tzu and Zhuangzi and began to look for
ethos of our ancient culture in these works. This developed into a
turning point of his artistic career.
Since then, the understanding and
appreciation for China's history has remained the axis of his creative
spirit. By employing Western techniques, he re-interpreted Chinese
cultural traditions and created Chinese contemporary art that reflected
Wu Guanzhong once praised Xu Jiang by saying, "I agree with
his primary academic viewpoint, attitude, and pursuit of the art of
painting. He's got liberal ideas and is well-informed of things from the
West. Besides, he has a broad vision of the world and yet grounded to
his land and his own people. His attitude is innovative and he's got the
courage to explore."
Both works entitled Chess Figurines over Gray Background, and Harmonic Shan
Shui 4 were created in the 1990s. In terms of style, the works
belong to an early style of abstraction through broad strokes. However,
in terms of expressing emotion, Chess Figurines over Gray Background is
outrageous, open and unrestrained like wild cursive script in
calligraphy. As for Harmonic Shan Shui 4, it feels mild and staid, like
delicate regular script.
In a free manner, Xu Jiang's painting brush can
be wild or reserved according to his own feeling. Even though the
picture does not depict any concrete theme, the viewer can still feel
the different emotional turns and shifts through it.
For Chess Figurines over Gray Background, the artist borrowed an idea of
George Braque to deconstruct natural shapes into simple forms and
re-deploy them in disarray. The idea is to follow the Cubist argument
that colors would interfere with the space. Thus the artist painted the
subject with one single tone, the Prussian blue, to deconstruct the
state of the object's appearance, re-composing a vision that doesn't
exist in reality.
The subject in the painting is distorted, crushed and
deformed and is in contrast with the calm gray background so as to
foreground the figurines' invincible dynamism. Different colors are
superimposed to compose the majestic picture; bold strokes yield strong
visual stimulus and heighten the dramatic effect of the picture.
Harmonic Shan Shui: Poetry
Men of letters of the ancient times loved and admired mountain and water
(shan shui). In all their spiritual integration with Nature, they
composed beautiful verses. Just like poetry, shan shui comes to vibrate
with beauty through its clear sounds characteristic of Nature and the
prosperity of all things. The subject of Harmonic Shan Shui 4 is
abstract. As the title suggests, the viewer can only imagine the picture
to be an impressionist poem on a landscape of floating clouds and
Based on the German spirit of discretion and rationality,
Xu Jiang set up brick structures through calm yet active colored
planes. He adapted the Chinese people's detached way of feeling, hiding
many details in obscure and thick colored areas: by blending black tiny
fragments inscribed onto the white texture, the artist created an
avant-garde style that juxtaposes Chinese and Western cultures.
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