The cover of the upcoming April 2020 issue of Taiwan’s Crown Magazine features Xue Song’s 2018 painting, Return Peacefully After Success – Poetry by Feng Zikai. The theme of the mixed media painting represents the Chinese ideal of retreating into a simple and quiet life in old age, after busy life of success. Through collage, Xue Song juxtaposes images of high culture and material excess with simple traditional Chinese landscapes. The article also features Xue’s Seven Color Landscape, which transforms traditional scenes of nature with strong commercial and modern colors and symbols.
In this video, we take an in-depth look into Xue Song’s career as a Chinese contemporary artist, covering his journey from his hometown of Dangshan, Anhui to the metropolitan city of Shanghai, his interest in Chinese history and contemporary culture, his wide range of subject matter, and the initial fire that sparked his inspiration for the iconic style of burnt collage that he is known for today.
Video Still from Trans-Figuration. Video: Courtesy of Li Youyou
Trans-Figuration by Xue Song is on view at the Guangdong Museum of Art from March 26 to April 20, 2022. The exhibition title is inspired by the term “transfiguration” in Buddhist art, which can be applied to understand Xue Song’s appropriation of ready-made images.
Installation View, Guangdong Museum of Art. Photo: Courtesy of Xue Song
The confrontation of one’s identity in terms of history, society, and culture has been an integral theme in the art of Xue Song, and was explored in the artist’s TED Talk on Oct 21, 2021 organized by TEDxHangzhouED.
Video Still from The Zeitgeist © TEDx Talks