Xue Song, born in 1965 in the province of Anhiu in western China, has been receiving international attention since 1996 following his first solo exhibition at the Shanghai Art Museum. His art is closely tied to traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy, often reflecting moments from Chinese art and cultural history alongside more modern, Western models and iconography. In 1991 a fire completely gutted Xue Song's studio, destroying all of his work to date, including large oil paintings and calligraphy. Since the fire, he has been using the charred remains of these works to create new paintings. His compositions are painted on top of painstakingly applied collages of hundreds of these singed objects, including newspaper cuttings, pieces of photographs and traditional Chinese characters, which together form outlines of contemporary politicians and figures. The resulting compositions represent a combination of both Chinese and Western visual language and come to symbolise the rebirth both of China in the post Cultural Revolution era, and of the artist's artistic production following the tragic fire. As Xue Song himself has said, "My works are born out of fire."