Artists

Qui Anxiong

b. 1972, Sichuan Province, China

Qiu Anxiong was born in Sichuan Province in 1972, he lives and works in Shanghai.

Qiu’s paintings, films and installations can be perceived as thought-provoking encounters with the fascinating history of China and the turbulent changes the country has undergone in recent years. In 2004 the artist moved to Shanghai, where he began to create animations as a further development of the traditional Chinese ink drawings. Qiu’s animations are inspired by the Chinese philosophical tradition of Confucianism, Buddhism and traditional Chinese fables.

The film Minguo Landscape takes the form of a lovely, poetic journey in the Chinese landscape. The animation has been executed in Qiu’s signature style, based on thousands of black-and white acrylic paintings that reference the Chinese ink-drawing tradition. The process behind the animation is very time-consuming, because the artist paints each individual picture, which is then photographed; then all the photos are combined digitally to create the animation. Minguo means China, and the name also denotes a specific period in the country’s history. The period started with the fall of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911) that was replaced by the Chinese Republic. The following period was defined by civil war and ongoing conflicts with Japan. The Mingou period ended in 1949 with the Communists’ seizure of power and Mao Zedong’s formation of the People’s Republic of China. The Minguo period was also an era in which traditional Chinese culture met modern Western ideas, resulting in a high level of activity in the fields of literature, film and visual art. The nostalgic retrospective viewpoint of the film portrays China’s unique history, while at the same time the film can be interpreted as a warning about the tendency of history to repeat itself.

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