Xue Tao

b. 1975, Yunnan Province, China

Xue Tao was born in the Yunnan Province in 1975, he lives and works in Kunming.

Xue plays an active part in the contemporary art community of his home city Dali in the province of Yunnan. He has established several artistdriven exhibition venues, such as Red Heart Commune in Dali in 1994 and Migratory Sky Art Space in Beijing in 2005. The work Rope Coil looks like a long, thick rope, but it was created through a meticulous process where newspaper pages are glued together and twisted into a sculptural form. Paper was invented in China around 200BC, and has had a crucial role in the history of the printed word. But are newspapers today a dying form of communication and thus a worthless material? Xue’s choice of newspaper as a material for artistic exploration can be seen in relation to the Arte povera movement, which in the 1960s introduced perishable and throwaway materials into the production of art. The artist himself says that his paper sculptures are a reaction to the vast changes that have taken place in Chinese society, in which the media, with their rapid turnover of information, dominate people’s everyday lives. Xue is inspired by the teachings of Zen Buddhism, and his carefully made handwork becomes a counterbalance to the fast pace of today’s society. The artist’s painstaking and enduring craftsmanship also serves as a counterweight to the many factories of China with their hurried mass production of generic items.


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