About “Into Ashes”
For me, the formation of a work is just like a written essay, and it is a process that occurs spontaneously. Sometimes I feel full of creativeness, yet sometimes I lose my tongue. When the work is completed, the topics expressed might be different from the original intention. The benefit of unclear theme lies in the possibility of new themes generated at any time. In this process, the new branches can provide nutrients for my “theme”, lead my thoughts, and allow the final presentation of the exhibition some degree of randomness and uncertainty. After spending half of my life, the state of “lost” should have been the past. I didn’t expect to feel this way at this age. It makes feel that I’m in my thirties. I’m lazy to do a thing which I want to do and have to do in the end. After doing it, I feel that I could have done better. This is actually more like me.
As a result of my inner emotions accumulating over a long period of time, the preparations of the exhibition themed “Into Ashes” lasts for a relatively long time. This “slow” process actually coincides with the meaning of the unity. The unpleasant emotions out of sensitivity have been repeatedly dulled by life. The expression has been removed from the body, leaving only an empty shell. Immediately afterwards, the interpretation of the work becomes endorsement of lines. I always try to break the inertia of the past, so I often feel tangled and hesitant. But whether it is necessary to cover the once familiar experience with so-called new content has become a new question. It’s a frustration that occurs at the moment of the completion of the work. It’s a time when we feel tired and then there is a thought of escaping. Then, what is a good state? Are those haven’t been achieved all good expectations? Everything is unknown and full of variables.
The time cues in real life are often fragmented. The information and resources are broken up and reorganized to find an optimal solution. My state is very often this way. In this exhibition, I also gradually pinch together the fragmented pieces of my thoughts and present some feelings in different directions. The original state of mind which is slow and hesitant gradually becomes heavier, and my heart seems to be slowly heating up. On the road of “Into Ashes”, life is more and more like a rotating stage, which requires careful setting and the arrangement of lighting and props. The performances are also more and more theatrical in routines, with various roles get dressed up and go on the stage. The illusion of life makes our focus obscure, not knowing the way. Everyone plays his own role in an active or passive way. The curtain is raised and will eventually fall. Following the Make—up, every individual carried forward is mostly gray in our eyes, thus the subtopic of “Gray%”. According to scientific research, the underwater world at a certain depth is colorless. Unlike the endless waves in the blue ocean, the bottom of the ocean is colorless. It is still without any logo, just like the empty state of our existence. In real life, colorlessness will make us lose the discrimination. Without contrast of forms or colors, there would be no reference between you and me, just chaos. Gradually, gray becomes our protective color, the safe color. No matter how much decorated or glorious the illusion is, the time will eventually fade into silent gray, and turn into nothingness. I often couldn’t help but look back at the past, hoping that my past journey could help me reflect on the present. “Groundless Talk” is a look back at the era, which needs interpretations and footnotes. The boy unwilling to grow up has grown old. As the time goes, he shows the negative attitude of halt or retroaction unique to that era, as well as the reality that seems to be overlap with and separated from my era.
Defining the meaning of a work is also sensitive. It’s a difficult problem for others and for me. As far as the work is concerned, the power born with it and the influence of it have already illustrated the work. Either good or bad, it’s felt in the work and is hence right. Any creative intention with a strong sense of responsibility may in itself emphasize the self-awareness and forcefully vent oneself and guide the audience. That’s to say, the different reactions of the audience will be the testimony of the existence of this work.
Liu Qinghe, April 2018, in Beijing T3 Artistic Community
About the exhibition
Dates: Jun 15, 2018 – Nov 15, 2018
Venue: United Art Museum
Courtesy of the artist and United Art Museum, for further information please visit www.whuam.com.