The Riddle of Qiu Guangping’s “Heaven” Author:Yifei Gan Date: 2013-09-04 Size:
The themes of “Heaven” are a riddle for the art observer to interpret. They include such images that could possibly be imagined as screaming horses, hungry vultures, violent events, and predicament of humanity... These are balanced by soul seeking actions, as described below.


  For some Chinese, the distance between hell and heaven on earth is as short as a single step. To them there is not much difference between the two. The paradox in the development of Chinese civilization and the form of this kind of paradox resulted in the present predicament. This predicament is a challenge for artists to face and break. Artists tackle such topics such as human souls, values, and patterns of civilization. Our ultimate destiny is also among the unavoidable issues for those working in all aspects of art. Qiu’s works, displayed in the exhibition, stem exactly from his reflection on such paradoxes. The artist has blended his anxieties, worries, and concerns of our times as if they were the vibrant and glaring paints into his fully loaded brush strokes.

  Just as Wu Hong, the curator of this exhibit, has remarked in the introduction, “Qiu’s exhibition, which features ‘heaven’, contains a collective body of concepts, and serves as a cross-section of human’s intellectual history in relation to their expression of desires. In the process, the theme of ‘heaven’ has been developed, transformed, and expressed through metaphor, resulting in the questioning of our souls’ ultimate destiny. It is obvious that in this exhibition, ‘heaven’ is no mysterious expression of affected and pretentious sentimentalism. Rather, it functions as a vehicle and perspective to look at the structure of human desire, which is then projected into the social reality...” Qiu’s recent art works are exactly the results of such a projection.


  We know that questions about life, death, love, and desire are subjects for religion and philosophy to answer, yet they are the eternal themes of art, as well. Artists in each era attempted to interpret or resolve these perplexities about life. They employed art to break the limits of life and death, and time and space. Similarly, Qiu’s recent art tries to make a unique interpretation of such questions, at the same time posing us with a Sphinx riddle---will we rise to heaven or fall into hell? The answers will reveal themselves to those who have the privileged opportunity to see the exhibition and engage in their own personal reflections and interpretations of hope.

  Gan Yifei :famous artist living in America, international curator,

  Professor of art at South Howard College, Maryland, USA

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[Editor] 常霞