Illustrated catalogue published in conjunction of the first comprehensive overview of Qiu Zhijie, one of the most important Chinese artists of his generation. The publication directly addresses the challenges of conveying the complexity of Qiu Zhijie's practice in the European context. It features essays by Andrea Bellini, Davide Quadrio, and Francesca Girelli, an extensive interview with the artist by Liu Jingjing, and descriptions of the exhibited works.
“Total Art explains experimental art through Confucianism; its principle is that everyone gives their best, and makes the best possible use of everything. We are surrounded by strict common standards that make us reduce the possibilities of the use of objects. Our goal is to create a space of possibilities and to make the best possible use of everything.”
The wide spectrum of Qiu Zhijie's activity, ranging from teaching to curating, critical writing to political activism, unveils a portrait of the artist as a polymath whose artistic work is an integral part of a larger, holistic approach to life. Embracing the concept of Total Art, he suggests art as a powerful engine for awareness, personal emancipation, and coming to terms with the dynamics of transformation and crisis that currently characterize China and the rest of the world. His diverse production ranges from text- and calligraphy-based works to photography, performance, installation, painting, and video.
Qiu Zhijie (born in 1969 in Zhangzhou, China, lives and works in Beijing and Hangzhou) divides his time between his artistic production, curatorial projects and academic roles as Professor and Dean of the School of Experimental Art (CAFA), and Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Hangzhou. In 1993 Qiu Zhijie was the youngest artist featured in the seminal exhibition “China's New Art Post-1989,” the first major collection of Chinese experimental art displayed outside of the country. Since then his work has been extensively exhibited within and outside China.