Tang Contemporary Art is proud to announce the opening of Xia Xing’s eponymous solo show “XIA XING” on January 5, 2017. The exhibition will present three bodies of work, an installation comprised of Tibetan rugs called 4-6, as well as two series of oil paintings based on The Beijing News from 2011 and 2012.
The installation, measuring 4 x 6 meters, is comprised of dozens of pre-liberation Tibetan rugs. Xia’s only instruction to the workers was that every rug be cut to 50 x 50 centimeters. Formal sensibility of the colors and patterns, as well as the integrity of the carpet, were destroyed during the cutting. This was meant to represent the formulation of rules in society, which completely ignores individuality and difference. Xia once said, “Pick a good thing and repeat it.” In his work, Xia has always used different assemblages to present his observations on society. His work may seem inexpressive, but the pieces carry a resolute attitude and do not shy away from reality.
The Beijing News was the first time that two party organs (Guangming Daily and Southern Daily) worked together on a trans-regional collaboration. The Beijing News was mainstream print publication with high-density coverage for the Beijing market. Since 2004, Xia Xing has chosen to paint about sixty photographs from The Beijing News every year, copying them on canvas. In the painting process, Xia applied very little technique; he simply made all of the pictures from the same year a similar size. With regard to his treatment of color, he only used the three primary colors of red, yellow, blue to mechanically cover the canvas and replicate the image. In terms of content, he would choose a general direction based on the sensitive events of that year. For example, he highlighted issues related to children in 2007, he focused on civil society in 2009, and his theme was activism in 2010.
B.1974 Shihezi, Xinjiang Province, China
Lives and works in Beijing, China
Every few days for the past nine years, Xia Xing has chosen a picture from the Beijing News and reproduced it in oil paint, applying monochrome layers of cyan (blue), magenta (red), yellow and black in an analogy of the CMYK printing process. Each year’s “diary” constitutes a single work, named for the year; the 60 or so paintings are presented as a group, without individual identification. Normally, newspaper pictures are explained by the story they illustrate. Xia Xing’s paintings are the story. With headlines, text and captions omitted, the only clue to their meaning is the viewer’s memory or imagination.
Inquire about this exhibition