ISBN : 978-988-99906-2-6
Publisher : Osage
Date Published : October 2007
Author : Jonathan Thomson, Jiang Jiehong
Editor : Agnes Lin
Designer : Marco Chan
Curator : Janet Fong, Yan Tong
Artist/s: : Miao Xiaochun
This catalogue was first published on the occasion of the exhibition, Miao Xiaochun: H2O – A Study of Art History held at Osage Kwun Tong from 10 October 2007 to 18 November 2007.
Miao Xiaochun’s art practice is based on appropriating images from reproductions of masterpieces of Western art and re-working them into entirely new contemporary contexts. It is a strategy that addresses challenging issues of authorship and originality, while the works themselves are distinctive and easily recognizable as his own.
In all of these works, which include his versions of Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam and The Deluge from the Sistine Chapel, Titian’s Bacchanal, Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s Christ Carrying the Cross, Lucas Cranach the Elder’s The Fountain of Youth, and Antonio and Piero del Pollaiuolo’s The Martyrdom of St Sebastian, he has generated a three-dimensional model of his own body and substituted this avatar for each of the figures that populate the original painting. The appearance of Miao’s avatar in many different contexts and across so many pages of history is a reflection on both history and identity that leads us to consider the complex processes of tradition and change in both Chinese and Western culture.
The artist’s reflections on the original works have given rise to many personal re-interpretations resulting in work that is very different from the original source artworks in both content and form. Water has been recycling through oceans, the sky, and the land for eons, continues to the present, and will continue into future, never stopping, repeating forever in an endless way. Does it carry and deliver certain information about the source and destination of life? All forms of life and water vitally interrelate with each other. Miao selects from the history of art works involving water which touch him to the heart, and tries to depict through latest digital technology the grand inter-linkages of life.
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