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Qiu Deshu (b. 1948)
Qiu Deshu (b. 1948)

Fissuring-Landscape (Dawn Light)

Qiu Deshu (b. 1948)
Fissuring-Landscape (Dawn Light)
signed in Chinese, dated 2010 (lower right)
ink and colour on rice paper mounted on canvas
197 x 397 cm. (77 9/16 x 155 7/8 in.)
Painted in 2010
Wenhui Publication House, Qiu Deshu, Shanghai, China, 2013 (illustrated, p. 194)
ART PUDDONG, The Paintings of Qiu Deshu, Shanghai, China, 2010 (illustrated, pp. 86-87)

Lot Essay

Artist Qiu Deshu spotted the remarkable crack patterns on a slab stone and it gave him an idea: Fissuring Series was the result of this inspiration. Qiu is an expert in employing Xuan paper, ink, and propylene glycol: he reinvents the use of these mediums to give traditional Chinese ink art a new spin.

Qiu brings the axe-cut brushstroke in ink art to life with the unique texture of torn Xuan paper; the deckle edge of the paper reveals Chu's aesthetic philosophies, and his personal expedition into the spiritual realm. The feathered Xuan paper edge is the hallmark of Qiu's choice medium. Moreover, the edge, a fortuitous occurrence, is a delightful combination of unpretentiousness and exquisite textural control, lending a dynamic state-of-mind to the landscape.
In Fissuring-Landscape (Dawn Light), the horizon at dawn is suffused with a rosy glow as the nature sits in profound silence. The cloudy mountains reflect various colours in the ever-changing sunlight. These miraculous clouds heighten the mountains' grandeur. Thickly layered Xuan papers and colours are integrated to construct a unique composition of graceful silhouettes.

In the piece, the majestic mountains take the center stage, rising and falling rhythmically. The approach resonates with Cubism, where objects are broken up and reassembled in an abstract form from multiple viewpoints. Juxtaposition and dramatic colours bring movement and fun to the piece. Conversely, the panoramic composition suggests the borrowing of landscape techniques from Song Dynasty to bring a realistic spirit to nature.
The towering main peak brings visual depth to the viewer, as if he is looking at mountains afar in close-up. The plunging waterfalls converge to form the gurgling rivers, giving the viewer an illusion of distance. These intricate elements suggest that Qiu faithfully follows the discourse on landscapes by Guo Xi, an acclaimed artist from Song Dynasty, to achieve "the three perspectives" (height, depth, and distance); and it endows his work with poise, focus, and airiness. The ambient mood of this piece places the viewer in the gentle embrace of magnificent mountains and rolling oceans.

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