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  • Provenance

    Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong

  • Exhibited

    XXIII Beinal Internacional de São Paulo, “The Dematerialization of Art at the End of the Millenium”, October 6 – December 8, 1996
    Museumsinsel Hombroich, “China Exhibition”, 1997
    Zurich, Gallery Paolo Stähli, November 1997
    Berlin, Raul für Bilder, September 1998
    Düsseldorf, Langen Foundation, “Bilder der Stille”, September 12, 2004 – June 19, 2005

  • Literature

    Langen Foundation, ed., Bilder der Stille, Düsseldorf, 2003
    C. Tsong-Zung, "Painting at the Edge of Visiblity: The Art of Qiu Shi-hua", in Special exhibition of the Bienal Internacional de Sao Paulo, 23, 1996: Catalogo das salas especiais, São Paulo, 1996, pp. 9f

  • Catalogue Essay

    Qiu Shihua was born in Sichuan in 1940 and graduated from the oil painting department of the Xi’an Art Academy in 1962. During the Cultural Revolution he was assigned to paint theater billboards for over a decade, which may have influenced the scale of his later paintings. He resumed his artistic career after moving to Shenzhen in 1984. Qiu was initially inspired by the French Impressionists, and in 1989 became a devout disciple of Daoist philosophy which significantly influenced his work.

    Although Qiu’s earlier large-scale landscapes draw upon the realistic techniques of Western landscape painting, it is the philosophy of shanshuihua, or traditional Chinese landscape painting, which better elucidates his artistic vision. Chinese landscape painters sought not to imitate nature but rather to evoke the artist’s emotions—pleasure, awe, or tranquility—in beholding the landscape. By comparison, Qiu’s representations reconstruct the transformative experience of nature with a conceptual sensibility that suggests the illusory character not only of nature but also of the viewer’s engagement with his art. In looking at Qiu’s work, the viewer’s eye repeatedly scans the broad plane in search of a pastoral landscape; the lasting impressions do not materialize from tangible details but rather coalesce out of the viewer’s emotive, almost meditative experience. Qiu’s paintings have drawn contemporary references to James Turrell’s work and Ad Reinhardt’s Black Paintings for the process of patient introspection necessary to meaningfully engage with these works.

    The present lot is an archetypal example of Qiu’s mid-career landscapes, loosely grounded in realism and prefiguring the shift to his current body of monochromatic paintings. In this work a rarefied earth and sky merge almost seamlessly, rendering the viewer momentarily unsure if he is grounded in the woods or adrift in cloud. This uncertainty of perspective is conceptually magnified in the pasture’s image—is the ethereal landscape a depicted reality, or does the artist merely offer up a template upon which the imagination constructs this paradise? Qiu's dialectic avoids overtly associating itself with an answer, and instead leaves the viewer more conscious of the emotive and intellectual impulses that shape his contemplation.


Wooded Pasture

Oil on canvas.
60 1/4 x 120 7/8 in. (153 x 307 cm).

$80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for $138,000

Contemporary Art Part I

16 Nov 2006, 7pm
New York