In 2002, a cross-section of his works was shown at New York's Asia Society Galleries, while a solo exhibition has been touring Germany and the Netherlands since 2007. Both are expensive and hugely time-consuming processes. His eyes and lips are closed; he appears lost in reverie. These are then filled with coloured ceramic by hand. Artforms in performance, music, literature and visual art are often boxed into categories of Australian history, bad accents, landscape paintings and Steve Irwin. The Sydney-based Chinese sculptor was home alone when he decided to make a cast of his torso, using dishwashing liquid to insulate his skin from theplaster.
Many of these figures were the friends or family members of Ah Xian. This has allowed the artist to create a haunting contrast between the traditional porcelain designs originally created for the Chinese court during the Ming 1364-1643 and Qing 1644-1911 Dynasties and the three-dimensional body casts in the China, China exhibition. Finally, with the support of sinologist and writer Linda Jaivin and former cultural counsellor at the Australian embassy in Beijing, Nick Jose, he won the right to live in Australia in 1995. Ah Xian's misadventure was part of a homespun experiment aimed at making decorated busts from casts of real bodies, a technique that eventually brought the sculptor life-changing success. The development and production of the China, China series was supported by a grant from the Australia Council. He sought political asylum in Australia following the events of Tiananmen Square in 1989 and moved to Sydney in 1990. The father of two could handle the physical demands of this work.
It was also the result of a decade long philosophical journey in which the artist had sought to reconcile his own cultural background with the artistic language and values of the West. Through traditional Chinese materials Ah Xian found a poignant medium to communicate his personal experience of cultural crossing in the late 20th century. A few, however, are painted with traditional Chinese erotica. In addition to the cobalt blue and copper red seen in the earlier works, for example, one now finds a full spectrum of color, often with embossed or low-relief designs. Upon returning to Australia, he began a yearlong term as artist-in-residence at Sydney College of the Arts, which provided him with studio space as well as with access to materials and kilns. The lustrous busts are painted with adaptations of traditional Chinese patterns commonly found on plates, bowls and vases, most of them derived from designs made for the imperial court in the Ming 1364-1643 and Qing 1644-1911 dynasties. His art making process preserves traditional practices and techniques of his Chinese background.
Ah Xian had travelled to Jingdezhen, China and this is where the inspiration for this exhibition originated. Ah Xian was a practising artist in China throughout the 1980s. For example, the ubiquitous dragon design and underglaze cobalt blue glaze are just some of the commonalities between the traditional and contemporary works in this exhibition. Most notably, the sculpture Sagittaria trifolio from the Concrete Forest series is renowned in his collection — and in Australian art — due to its merit in skill and beauty. Jade is considered by many to be the nucleus and a hallmark of Chinese civilisation, occupying a pivotal position in the Chinese imagination. We try our best to attribute images, videos, and quotes to their creators and original sources. Over the centuries they have been engendered with many symbolic meanings in connection to Chinese notions of immortality, faithfulness, steadiness, endurance and modesty.
Such an opposition can also be seen as the relationship between the personal since many of the busts are of Ah Xian's family, including his wife, brother, and father and the political a statement about the artist's own Chinese heritage articulated outside China. Something that you love to do and desire to do, but no time, no ability, no money. The surfaces of the busts were polished and smoothed and then painted with simple designs derived from Chinese porcelain pattern books, most often in cobalt blue, although some touches of copper red are also seen. Ah Xian Born 1960 in is a Chinese born artist based in Sydney, Australia. They have been snapped up by the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, the Queensland Art Gallery, Sydney's Powerhouse Museum and the Art Gallery of South Australia.
It might be said that China remained a strong point of reference for Ah Xian and that his interest in renewing Chinese decorative forms and motifs in an Australian and contemporary context has been an integral part of a cathartic process for reconnecting with the country. The China, China series includes a group of vibrantly coloured porcelain busts, and a few pairs of legs, conceived and cast by Ah Xian, that were made in kilns at Jingdezhen and hand-painted under his direction by local artisans. Ah Xian stands apart from his American counterparts in the absence of irony in his approach to the material and its history. As the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre approaches, it's a sensitive time to be going back. To his horror, the self-taught sculptor found he could barely move.
I assure you, we have definitely made a transition however the accents are still undesired and we really miss our Steve. He had come to Australia as a visiting artist in 1990 and applied for asylum. In Metaphysica, bronze has been revived as his modern material of choice. The long, snakelike body coils about his head. The blazoning is an act of appropriation; images of living individuals rendered in porcelain are depersonalized and transformed into artifacts evoking a distant past; the weight of history and culture is superimposed upon them, and in a sense obliterates them.
I feel that we should not need to tell stories about the Chinese situation only through the foreign languages that we have just learnt. A glaze on the sculpture may proceed; dependent on the aesthetic Xian aims in achieving or material of the work used. Sherman produced an editioned porcelain tureen set at Limoges with Artes Magnus , Madame de Pompadour nee Poisson 1721-1764 , modeled after a design commissioned by Madame de Pompadour from Sevres in 17-56. It was the early 1990s. His use of motifs — dragons, lily pads, trees, great waves and mountains — helps produce a defying blend of social, cultural and political undertones.
It is decorated with a low-relief phoenix and peony scroll and finished with a clear blue glaze. With no money or connections and only limited knowledge of English, Ah Xian began working at a series of odd jobs, such as short-order cook and house painter. His general method of construction to create his body of work consists of the application of petroleum jelly to the body of subject. The mood of most of these works is calm and gentle. This is created from the imbedding of leaves. He also often commissions sculptural artisans from Jingdezhen in the Jiangxi Province of China to create renditions of his castings, who are celebrated for their Indigenous porcelain, craftsmanship and kilns. It is mainly painted with a landscape design.