| Biography | Artist Statement | Inventory Catalogue | Artists Represented | Qiu Shi-hua

1940 Born in Sichuan Province, China
1962 Graduated from the Xi'an Art Academy, specializing in Oil Painting
1963 Has exhibited in many major national exhibitions~ Works are in numerous China and overseas collections Member of the Chinese Artists Association
1984 Moved to Shenzhen

Inventory Catalogue

Selected Solo Exhibitions
"Aura of Nature", Galerie Karsten Greve, Cologne, Germany
"Qiu Shihua - New Works", Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne, Switzerland

St. Moritz Art Masters Winter Exhibition, Reformierte Dorfkirche, St. Moritz, Switzerland
"Landscape, Light and Silence", Museum Pfalzgalerie Kaiserslautern, Kaiserslautern, Germany

"Qiu Shihua", Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing, China

"White Field", Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, Germany
"Qiu Shihua", Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing, China
"Qiu Shihua - New Works", Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne, Switzerland
"Qiu Shihua", Shanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai, China
"Qiu Shihua", Luis Campaña Galerie, Cologne, Germany
Galerie 75 Faubourg, Paris, France
"Qiu Shihua", Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne, Switzerland

"Qiu Shihua", Luis Campaña Galerie, Cologne, Germany

"Insight: Paintings by Qiu Shihua", Chambers Fine Art, New York, USA

"Vision of Fields by Qiu Shihua", Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong, China
"Qiu Shihua", Künstlerverein Malkasten, Düsseldorf, Germany
Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne, Switzerland

Luis Campaña Galerie, Cologne, Germany
"White Landscape", Prüss & Ochs Gallery, Berlin, Germany
"Landscape - Painting on the Edge of Visibility", Galleria OTSO, Espoo, Finland

The New York Kunsthalle, New York, USA
Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne, Switzerland

"Landscape - Painting on the Edge of Visibility", Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech Republic and Galerie Stemberk, Stemberk, Czech Republic
"Qiu Shi-hua", Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland
Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong, China

Hanart (Taipei) Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan
Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong, China
Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong, China

Hanart (Taipei) Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan

Selected Group Exhibition
"Landscape +", Two Person Exhibition with Lo Shyh-charng, Art Beatus Gallery, Hong Kong

"Ink and the Mind: Ink and Phenomenology. Exhibition No.2", Ink Studio, Beijing, China

"M+ Sigg Collection: Four Decades of Chinese Contemporary Art", ArtisTree, Hong Kong, China
"Unscrolled: Reframing Tradition in Chinese Contemporary Art", Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada

"DIALOGUE5:5", Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, Germany
"Building Bridges – Zeitgenössische Kunst aus China", Wolfsberg, Ermatingen, Switzerland

"Blank to Blank – Inframince Exhibition II", Soka Art Center, Beijing, China

"Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China", The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, New York, USA
"Duchamp’ Inframince in Painting – First Zhuangzi International Conference Parallel Exhibition", Yuan Art Museum, Beijing, China

"Worldviews: Landscape in Art from the 17th Century to the 21st Century", Kunstmuseum Dieselkraftwerk Cottbus, Cottbus, Germany

"Landscape as a Worldview", Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Chemnitz, Germany

"Self-essence Naturalism", Today Art Museum, Beijing, China
"Worldviews: Landscape in Art since the 17th Century", Museum Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden, Germany

"Worldviews: Landscape in Art since the 17th Century", Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Kiel, Germany

"Shanshui – Poetry Without Sound? Landscape in Chinese Contemporary Art", Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne, Switzerland

"Collectors’ Stage: Asian Contemporary Art from Private Collections", Singapore Art Museum (SAM), Singapore
"Worldviews: Landscape in Art since the 17th Century", Situation Kunst, Bochum, Germany
"Lines of Quiet Beauty", DKM Museum, Duisburg, Germany

"Yi Pai – Century Thinking", Today Art Museum, Beijing, China

"Black and White – Qiu Shihua and Yang Liming", Found Museum, Beijing, China
"Accumulation – The new Spirit of the East" , Asia Art Center, 798, Beijing, China

"Mahjong: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection", The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum, Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, USA

"RED Aside – Chinese Contemporary Art of the Sigg Collection", Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, Spain

"Yi School: Thirty Years of Chinese Abstract Art", Palma, Barcelona and Madrid, Spain

"Qi Yun – The International Travelling Exhibition of Chinese Abstract Art", China Square Gallery, New York, USA

"Mahjong – Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection", Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Austria

"Reboot – The Third Chengdu Biennial", Chengdu Contemporary Art Museum, Chengdu, China

"Qi Yun – The International Travelling Exhibition of Chinese Abstract Art", OCT Contemporary Art Terminal of He Xiangnin Museum, Shenzhen, China; Art Now Gallery, Beijing, China; Hong Kong Artist Commune, Hong Kong, China

"Landscape & Memory II", Haines Gallery, San Francisco, USA

"Art from China – Collection Uli Sigg", Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

"The Year of the Golden Pig – Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection", Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork University College, Cork, Ireland

"Inferno in Paradise – 10 Years Alexander Ochs Galleries Berlin | Beijing", Alexander Ochs Galleries Berlin | Beijing, Berlin, Germany

"White Out", Künstlerhaus Palais Thurn und Taxis, Bregenz, Austria; Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken, Saarbrücken, Germany
"The Sublime is Now", Museum Franz Gertsch, Burgdorf, Switzerland

"Mahjong – Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection", Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany
"Pictorial DNA Made in China", Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne, Switzerland

"Mahjong – Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection", Kunstmuseum Bern, Berne, Switzerland

"What is Realism", Albermarie Gallery, London, UK
Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai, China

"Le Printemps de Chine", CRAC Alsace, Altkirch, France
"Imagination - Perception in Art", Kunsthaus Graz, Graz, Austria

"New Zone – Chinese Art", Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland
"China – Tradition and Modernity", Museum Ludwig Galerie Oberhausen, Oberhausen, Germany

"Welcome China!", Gallery Soardi, Nice, France
"Take Part II", Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne, Switzerland

"The Inward Eye: Transcendence in Contemporary Art", Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, USA

2nd Berlin Biennale, Berlin, Germany

"Take Part I", Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne, Switzerland
"Our Chinese Friends", ACC Galerie and Galerie der Bauhaus-Universität (in collaboration with Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne), Weimar, Germany
"d’APERTutto", Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy

"Natural Reality", Ludwig Forum, Aachen, Germany
"Eight Chinese Artists", Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne, Switzerland

Asian Fine Art Gallery, Berlin, Germany
"China", Kunst Museum Bonn, Bonn, Germany; Künstlerhaus Wien, Vienna, Austria; Art Museum Singapore, Singapore; Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany

"Qiu Shihua", The 23rd São Paulo Art Biennial (special guest), São Paulo, Brazil
"China’s New Art Post – 1989", University of Oregon Museum of Art, Portland, USA
"The First Annual Exhibition of Chinese Oil Painting", Hong Kong, China
"Chinese Art Festival", La Defense, Paris, France

Artist Statement

Imagine the mind tuned down to a dormant state, degree zero, then the world would look so clear, so vivid. It would be like having taste buds so sensitive that even a glass of water would taste sharp. Start from the beginning, annihilate the worldly self: then the original self will become truly sensitive.

When I paint I do not think of structure or theme; what I seek is a certain 'flavor' - a rhythm of spirit and energy, so that the soul drifts in the painting, like a shadow of the mind.
Everything is flat and calm

Qiu Shi-hua

Painting at the Edge of Visibility
The Art of Qiu Shi-hua

Chang Tsong-zung

At the edge of visibility a view becomes a vision Qiu Shi-hua's paintings endeavour to bring the viewer back to the starting point at which sight begins to differentiate forms, and the mind constitutes a visual world

Qiu's artistic journey has been a pursuit of the limits of painting He does not go beyond those limits, he stays within the parameters of perspective, colour, and shape He does not transgress What he does, however, is to challenge the conventional concept of visibility By taking us to the outer reaches of visibility, he transforms both painting and viewing into a spiritual exercise

One enters Qiu's paintings as if slipping into the morning mist Whiteness dominates, shifting in a variety of shades Gradually the eyes make out the view the vague fold of trees, and fainter woods afar. Eventually one seems to see, or sense, every detail, down to the play of light on the tuffs of grassy fodder Most of Qiu's paintings give the impression of entering the world at a moment of fullness when its mysteries are about to be revealed light at daybreak, first darkness at dusk, the moment when sound breaks the fullness of silence

After graduating from the Xi'an Art Academy in 1962, Qin took menial jobs and survived the Cultural Revolution (1966 976) as a sign painter for a cinema He remained in Xi'an until 1984 Throughout those twenty-two years Qiu lived on the expansive yellow loess plains of China's northwest, on the edge of remote deserts His view was little more than earth and sky, yet he perceived a wealth of variations in them He discovered that when the mind is completely quiet, to degree zero, the senses become fully alert, capable of celebrating the slightest sensation and feasting on the flat taste of water Qiu's art seeks to bring the same sensitivity to the viewer's mind "My previous paintings were mostly concerned with emotions so they were rich with moods Now I am more concerned with the 'origin', the genesis of experience," says Qiu

For Qiu, the fullness of experience arrives at the moment before form appears, a painting must capture the spirit of this moment What comes before form is 'spirit' and 'rhythm', which make harmonious energy This instant, when energy and life have yet to split into specific forms, contains all kind of possibilities and is therefore the source of life This is the moment of creativity sought by Qiu The creative mind arrives at this state through contemplation, and the path followed by Qiu is Taoist meditation In meditation, the cosmos appears like a white mist, and one finds oneself in a world of white light In such a state, time and space become immaterial, human passions have no place Here the mind finds refuge, seeking neither vision nor imagination

Qiu Shi-hua's first contact with Taoism was through his father, a laconic man, who took him to temples that survived the ravages of the Communist revolution In these deserted temples, they would do nothing but sit in silence for hours Qiu remembers being puzzled but impressed with the serene atmosphere

Qiu Shi-hua approximates the state of quietude in painting by reducing the picture's sensory agitation All elements of contrast, such as light, colour and shape, are reduced to the minimum The eyes are forced to distinguish between shades of white upon white Within the subtle gradations of tones, form is defined by the faintest differentiation Qiu works with an axiom of economy, aiming to capture the fullest substantial content in the paintings with minimal material painterly touches

When the mind is tempted to respond to the slightest quiver of suggestion, sight and imagination come together to enhance vision The viewer is able to see an even sharper reality than what the artist may have intended As a result, the experience of seeing is paradoxically enriched by the elimination of visual information

Qiu's pictorial world is a weightless realm of light and energy Its substance lies not in physical bodies but in presences By broaching formlessness, the artist achieves the fullness of form Lao Zi said: "The more knowledge one sheds, the more Tao one gains" From the perspective of Chinese art, Qiu Shi-hua's quest seems to be a rediscovery of the fountain of its tradition in which the art of the mind is created in the glory of nature

The tradition of Western art, particularly oil painting, has a relatively short history in China But its doctrines of realism have become the norm of art education under the Communist system The art of Qiu Shi-hua is born out of this background, but has shifted to merge with the great tradition of Chinese landscape painting For Chinese classical art, nature is the idealized realm in which the world-weary mind seeks repose Without discarding his received training in oil painting, Qiu has transformed oil painting into a contemporary voice of the Chinese tradition, to remind us that the currency of art transcends cultural boundaries by speaking directly to our souls

The faith in sublimity in nature held by Qiu Shi-hua finds the closest Western parallel in the Romantic artists It is no accident that Qiu holds artists like Friedrich, Constable and Turner in high esteem But perhaps a more fruitful comparison would be with contemporaries whose Romantic heritage leads to artworks that show a kindred sensibility as Qiu's The blurred landscapes of Gerhard Richter come naturally to mind Richter had said "I believe quite simply that we have not yet gone beyond Romanticism The paintings of that era are still a part of our sensibility" (Catalogue, Centre Pompidou, Paris 1977) Although he champions diverse styles, his attitude toward artistic creation as a force of nature - that art creates as nature creates -adds meaning to his figurative landscapes "You cannot represent reality What you make only represents itself, in other words, it is itself reality "(Richter, 1972) The seductive quality of Richter's paintings lies in the longing for an undefinable, enigmatic vision While Romantic nature opens man to the unfathomable, with intimation of a tragic vision, the realm of the formless in Taoist nature encompasses both chaos and pristine origin The enigma which Qiu investigates in his paintings is the spiritual centre of the human being, which lies at the heart of mystery of this Taoist nature The realm of formlessness also points to the mental state preceding thought and vision, in which wisdom and intuition reside If Qiu's art has a purpose, it would be as inspiration for the meditative mind, leading the viewer to his own nature

By Chang Tsong-Zung, 23rd International Biennial of Sao Paulo - Qiu Shi-hua, Hanart TZ Gallery Ltd publisher

For further information, please contact:

Canada: tel: (1) 604.688.2633, fax: (1) 604.688.2685