Xu Hongxiang holds solo exhibition at Aurora Museum

Wang Jie
"Wander," a solo exhibition by artist Xu Hongxiang on show at Aurora Museum through June 30 features more than 30 works created over several years.
Wang Jie
Xu Hongxiang holds solo exhibition at Aurora Museum

"Brothers" by Xu Hongxiang

"Wander," a solo exhibition by artist Xu Hongxiang is on show at the Aurora Museum through June 30.

The exhibition was curated by Fritz Huang, the executive director of the Aurora Museum, with academic support from Lu Mingjun, a young researcher at the School of Philosophy of Fudan University.

It features more than 30 works created by the artist over the past several years, including 10 recent works and early video pieces, revealing the artist's pursuit in the contents and techniques of his tableau.

The theme of the exhibition, "Wander," means "strolling in the world."

"The forest was a fairy tale and I, as I was going along, was like the wanderer in a fairy tale," Xu said. "There was an infinity of peace and quietness! The twilight was sinking and the sunset was scintillating. In my eyes, everything is like an ancient poem, eternally fresh and moving."

Born in Changsha, Hunan Province, in 1984, Xu obtained his bachelor's degree from the Print Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2007, and later a master's degree in 2011.

Now living and working in Beijing, the artist prefers to paint narrative plots via landscapes.

The narrative elements in his mode blend nature and humanity harmoniously, exuding a relaxing, carefree spirit. These paintings are characterized by their use of natural scenery, human figures, and animals.

Xu Hongxiang holds solo exhibition at Aurora Museum

"Wander (seven dogs)" by Xu Hongxiang

Xu Hongxiang holds solo exhibition at Aurora Museum

"Wander" by Xu Hongxiang

His latest creations from his art residency in Australia in 2023 are on display on the second floor of the museum. The sense of alienation he experienced inspired his exploration of the relationships between humans and nature, and between man and man.

"During that three months, I missed my family in China badly," he confessed. "I am a person who loves being social and friends. It was such an agony to leave my familiar surrounding and be thrown into a surrounding with less communication and emotional exchanges with others."

After returning to his familiar environment when back in China, he felt an utter release, all recorded in his work with carefree, effortless, and free brushstrokes.

Xu's small exploratory works in the second-floor cylindrical hall serve as prompts or "seeds" that inspired his post-return creations.

His method has evolved from examining images to largely detaching from images, transitioning from the pure theory of art to the realm of practical philosophy. This shift allows his paintings to transcend attributes, focusing on humanity, nature, and animals, including himself and those around him. His works, therefore, unfold on a more emotional level, conveying a sense of ease and freedom as implied by the exhibition theme of "Wander."

Date: Through June 30 (closed on Mondays), 10am-5pm, Tuesday to Sunday

Address: 99 Fucheng Rd 富城路99号

Admission: 60 yuan (US$8.28)

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