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 Qiu Zhijie

Biography

Zhangzhou, China, 1969. Lives and works in Beijing and Hangzhou. Qiu Zhijie studied at the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts, now the China Academy of Art, and currently is Associate Professor in Mixed Media there. He has recently had a solo exhibition at the Shanghai Zendai Museum of Modern Art and has also been included in exhibitions at Tate Liverpool, the 3rd Ghangzhou Triennial, and the International Photography Center, New York. Qiu Zhijie's most recent solo museum shows are ·Breaking Through The Ice" at the Ullens center of Contemporary Art in Beijing and "Twilight of the Idols" at the house of World cultures, Berlin. Qiu is part of the current Venice Biennale, in the China pavillion. 

About Qiu's work

Besides his work as an artist, Qiu Zhijie is a curator and organizer of exhibitions. In 2002 he started with Lu Jie The Long March, a project whose aim is to reach out to the community: “Mao's March symbolized the deliverance of the Communist ideal to the Chinese proletariat, it is with this symbolism in mind that we now choose to march contemporary art out to China's peripheral population." Qiu Zhijie studied the art of traditional ink rubbings, and did a series of works based on steles or carved stones he discovered or visited in various archaeological sites. This led to Monuments (2007), a project that reflects on the tradition of the printed image in China, and on how personal and collective memory are intertwined. In 2002 Qiu did the performative work Left/Right: Long March, which involved marking various sites on Mao Zedong’s historical Long March with the Chinese characters for “left” and “right” etched on the soles of his shoes. The inscriptions were left at various historical sites, among them the Luding Bridge, at dadu River in Sichuan province, and the former site of The Flying Tigers airport in Lijang, Yunnan province. In a moment where China was debating about maintaining a political line while opening itself to the ways of Capitalism, Qiu Zhijie’s gesture is a poignant one.

 

Project Description

For Monuments (2007), Qiu Zhijie collected and classified many different forms of writing, both public and personal. For each form of scripture, he carved a layer of concrete. After the plate is dry the inscriptions were printed on paper by rubbing with ink, and a new layer of concrete was poured, upon which a new set of characters was then inscribed. Each new layer obliterated the previous one, burying the marks forever and replacing them with a new form of scripture; the only witness that remains is the single print, done with the traditional rubbing process that entails placing a sheet of paper on top of the stele. Monuments is a powerful overview of China’s political history as well as a reflection on the capacity of monuments of retaining collective memory.

Monuments: Revolutionary Slogans of Successive Dynasties, 2007
16 ink rubbings on paper
Each 34.3 x 34.3 inches
Courtesy the artist and Long March Space, Beijing

Monuments: Revolutionary Slogans of Successive Dynasties, 2007
Concrete and steel
31.5 x 31.5 x 31.5 inches
Courtesy the artist and Long March Space, Beijing

Monuments: International Politics, 2007
16 ink rubbings on paper
Each 26.3 x 25.9 inches
Courtesy the artist and Long March Space, Beijing

Monuments: International Politics
, 2007
Concrete and steel
23.6 x 23.6 x 30.7 inches
Courtesy the artist and Long March Space, Beijing

More Info

On view at PAFA
Samuel M. V. Hamilton Building
128 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
215-972-7600
http://www.pafa.org