Qiu Xiaofei - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in association with Yongle Hong Kong Tuesday, November 29, 2022 | Phillips

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  • “Previously, to paint was like roaming in a wormhole, where I was transported to the depth of my memories. Today, I am more inclined to consider painting as a medium that simultaneously connects the past, present, and future.”
    — Qiu XiaoFei

    Since the beginning of his career, Qiu Xiaofei has mostly drawn his inspiration from childhood memories—of his infancy spent in a lively household in Harbin, Heilongjiang, surrounded by books and art—as well as his family history, and personal life experiences. Through the exploration of these intimate, yet universally relatable themes, the Chinese painter has made a name for himself in the international art scene. 


    The present piece, executed in 2005,  depicts a set of Chinese chequers, a strategy board game widely played across China. The intentionally chaotic visual arrangement of the scene suggests that a laid-back, warm and spontaneous atmosphere reigns around the players’ table. The loose, rough, and sketchy brushstrokes and the dominance of soft, harmonious pastel tones convey a vaguely nostalgic feeling. This familiar scene, a throwback to 1980s China, also represents a moment of reminiscence and confrontation between the artist and his younger self. 


    Qiu’s artworks, often based on old photographic images, are a way to question and redefine the meaning of painting as practice in the contemporary art context, as argued by the artist himself: ‘Those works based on old photographs allowed me to traverse through wormholes of time and return to places in my memories’. His art is a constant dialogue between present and past, between current reality and remembrance. Chinese Chequers was also inspired by a picture – perhaps taken spontaneously, or perhaps purposefully shot to eternalise a significant moment – and delicately gives new life to a distant memory.   


    Following his 2002 graduation, Qiu’s practice soon received worldwide appreciation among art scholars and collectors. His work has been featured in numerous international museum exhibitions, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Beijing (2001), the Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland (2005); and Tate Liverpool (2007). His works are also part of the M+ Museum permanent collection in Hong Kong. 


    The artist in action in his Beijing studio
    Courtesy of Art Asia Pacific


    i Chang Xuyang, ‘A Conversation with Qiu Xiaofei: Connecting the past, present, and future through painting’, New Century Art Foundation, online

    • Provenance

      China Blue Gallery, Beijing
      Acquired from the above by the present owner


Chinese Chequers

signed, titled and dated '"Chinese Chequers" [in Chinese] 2005 Qiu Xiaofei [in Chinese]' on the reverse
oil on canvas
50 x 70 cm. (19 5/8 x 27 1/2 in.)
Painted in 2005.

Full Cataloguing

HK$180,000 - 280,000 

Sold for HK$226,800

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+852 2318 2027
[email protected]

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in association with Yongle

Hong Kong Auction 30 November 2022