Hong Kong, HKCEC Grand Hall
31 May 2015
QIU DESHU (Chinese, B. 1948)
signed in Chinese (lower left)
ink and acrylic on xuan paper mounted on canvas
341.3 x 175.5 cm. (134 3/8 x 69 1/8 in.)
Painted in 2001
The Estella Collection Sale, Sothebys Hong Kong, 9 April 2008, Lot 1157 Acquired from the above by the present owner
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Shanghai People's Fine Arts Publishing House, Qiu Deshu, Shanghai, China, 2008 (exhibition view illustrated, p. 182).
Shanghai, China, Shanghai Art Museum, Metaphysics, 2002.
In the end of the 1970s, Qiu Deshu was inspired by the traversing cracks on an aged stone slate and subsequently created the Fission series. This serendipitous discovery led to decades of studies and evolution in the creative process. Qiu Deshu pioneered an experimental technique in Chinese ink to accompany this concept. The imposing presence of Fissuring No. 5 (Lot 140) makes it one of the most iconic landscape paintings amongst Qiu Deshu' s artistic output post-2000. In traditional Chinese landscape painting, various texturing techniques with the brush are employed to model rock format ions and surfaces. It is a treatment that requires superior command of the brush. Antithetically, Qiu Deshu completely rejected the doctrine of the brush. With his profound knowledge of traditional painting and paper mounting technique, he pushes the expressive power of the xuan paper medium to an extreme degree. He incises the top layer of a piece of wet xuan paper, so that the xuan papers underneath can be exposed. The irregular feathered edges of torn xuan paper are also used as an expressive device. The main thrust of the painting looks like a tower of rising clouds. It is also similar to the perilous and jagged edges of Scholar Rock. The improvisation delineation that is based on chance creates a stunning visual experience. The swirling fog and the glow of the sun peer through the gap between the peaks- this effect is achieved by layering numerous sheet s of previously dyed xuan paper. This treatment revolutionises the power of expression of colours in traditional landscape painting. The process of tearing and transforming highlights this beautiful visual language of contemporary art. This fascinating reincarnation of the landscape painting tradition is the distillation of Qiu Deshu's epiphanies in life and in art.
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