From Saturday, January 20, 2007, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo will present an exhibition introducing, for the first time in Japan, the works of Qiu Anxiong, an emerging Chinese artist born in Szechwan Province in 1972 who currently lives and works in Shanghai.
Qiu represents a new generation of Chinese artists. While consciously inheriting traditional Chinese values as an artist who studied painting extensively in China and Germany, he has in recent years employed sophisticated animation and video technologies to portray with elegant subtlety-and a distinctive humor all his own-his critical vision of contemporary social phenomena. At the 2006 Shanghai Biennale he won attention by showing The New Book of Mountains and Seas (2006), an animation whose visuals evoke ink and wash paintings. The work reinvents in a contemporary context what is said to be China's oldest geography book, Shan Hai Jing ("Classic of Mountains and Seas").
Shan Hai Jing, a major repository of ancient Chinese mythology, is a region-by-region guide not only to flora and fauna, regional products, and such but also to chimeras, monsters and other fanciful creatures, and supernatural entities. Strange creatures also appear in succession in Qiu's contemporary version of Shan Hai Jing, such as an ominous headless bird resembling a Stealth warplane, and turtle-like monsters of somehow loveable appearance, modeled on cars fueling up at a gas station. With superlative descriptive power and insight, Qiu humorously depicts the military and political conflicts of our times, and the wave of urbanization and digitalization forcing people in China and everywhere in the world to discard their traditional values of living. In a clear departure from the older generation's approach of clamorous political assertion, Qiu's allegorical vision of the world speaks quietly but powerfully to something deep in us.
Qiu Anxiong Exhibition will include video and animation works created by Qiu in recent years, along with his representative work The New Book of Mountains and Seas, so as to immerse viewers in the narrative world of an artist who expounds in a fresh, lyrical voice the issues of concern around us in contemporary society.
January 20 - April 1, 2007
Mondays (except for February 12), February 13
*Last admission to the gallery floor is 30minutes before the closing hour.
Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT) Exhibition Gallery B2F
Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
Under the patronage of:
Cultural Office, Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Japan