b&w photography in Antibes

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Miao Xiaochun: H2O in Berlin

Miao Xiaochun: H2O in Berlin

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Miao Xiaochun, The Fountain of the Youth, 2007, C-Print, Ed. 12, 170 x 269 cm
Courtesy Alexander Ochs Galleries Berlin I Beijing.


BERLIN.- Alexander Ochs Galleries Berlin presents Miao Xiaochun: H2O. Miao Xiaochun has come back, down to earth. Back from the spheres of heaven, with figures floating in the detached and airy space that he so closely explored in his last large picture-series "The Last Judgement". And yet, it is not so much the firm and solid ground of earth that the Chinese photo-artist is interested in. He rather turns his attention towards an element which, at first sight, seems about as hard to grasp as the atmospheric range of the sky: water. However, the framework that he chose for his explorations (investigations) consistently remains the same: the array of Western art-history. He furthers his forays through the world of art and painting. And he leaves many enthralling hints for the observer, allowing him to follow.

Masterly in his use of digital visual media, Miao Xiaochun time and again lets us dive down deeply into a perfectly animated parallel world. Into the modern, artificially created imagery of cyberspace - new, and yet strangely familiar. For the artist uses our knowledge, the history of our world-view, our painting, our space of image and imagination - all reflected in the mirror of famous works of art. The allusion to this frame of reference allows him to phrase and convey his thoughts. We know the models for his pictures. And exactly because we know them, we can't help but think of them parallel to the process of perception and artistic reception.

Miao's works function as picture puzzles, in which we newly discover well-known aspects. The famous artistic prototypes are not simply converted 1:1. Miao subtly varies the perspective and noticeably modifies the formal design and construction, bringing on a perceptible shift of meaning. The artist did not choose his points of origin at random. Unifying element within the rooms of reference for his new works is the motif of water. As visible expression of the flowing of time and power of life, and full of symbolic implications, the element of water again and again becomes a metaphor. A source of creation and signification, and a source of art - continuously changing and flowing, and yet always present, just as art itself.

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