Walsh Gallery

Miao Xiaochun: "H2O: A Study of Art History"

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Dates: Oct 19 2007 - Nov 24 2007

Opening Reception: Oct 19 2007

Wu Hung curates the U.S. debut of Beijing-based photographer Miao Xiaochun's latest works, H20: A Study of Art History, at Walsh Gallery. The series of large-scale digital renderings, based upon water, place the artist's nude body into masterworks of art history. The show opens Friday, October 19 from 5-8 pm at Walsh Gallery. The curator will be present at the opening reception.

To Miao Xiaochun, water and life are interdependent in a vital way. Miao creates a metabolic continuity that flows from one art historical masterpiece into another. As Wu Hung writes, Miao Xiaochun's body "serves as the neutral element connecting works of art created in different times-a process which generates new work on old themes."

For Miao Xiaochun, the selected masterworks of Michelangelo or Titian-rather than scenes from everyday life-more acutely reveal the roles that water played throughout human existence. Water represents healing or magical powers, destructive tendencies, desires, or spirituality. In Miao Xiaochun's retake of Michelangelo's Genesis, the iconic scene of God and Adam now occurs in abstract space suspended within a molecule of water. Here, water performs an act of ultimate power by giving and creating life.

This directly contrasts with the content of Michelangelo's work, where only God himself creates life. In 1989 Miao Xiaochun completed studies at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing before finishing Advanced studies in Kassel, Germany. In addition to two previous solo exhibitions at the Walsh Gallery, Miao Xiaochun's works also have appeared in landmark exhibitions of contemporary Chinese art: Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China, the 2002 Shanghai Biennale, the 2005 Guangzhou Photo International Biennale, and Mahjong: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection.

Exhibition catalog available.

Contact gallery at 312.829.3312.