-- Written by Hannibal Volkoff (Translated by Adrien Chao)
In recent years, Kiki Xue has emerged as one of the leading young figures of fashion photography thanks to his series of portrait exploring aesthetic history with remarkable accuracy. His first exhibition "Beauty : Tipping point (2015)" at Gallery Hors-Champs focused on themes of awakening and trouble but also beauty didactically put into contrast with its opposite (the morbid and the bizarre). He comes back here with other points, suspension points this time, they are drippings on large Chinese papers.
This series is made out of fifteen abstract paintings covered with the paint spots of Kiki Xue’s brush. These spots are spread throughout a uniform composition where the atmosphere developed by the main hue is soften with touches of white and/ or opposed hues.
His meticulous way to spread spots seems to form a pure process (pointillism), an obsessional technique that could seem cold. But as much as the details, the lives of each spot, dissolve in a greater composition, like droplets in an ocean, the process itself retreats only to leave room to instinct and emotion. The paintings are indeed projections of feelings as well as dispositions. They constitute a mental universe that appears simple, but with a complex texture made out of numerous layers and shades. Faithful to Asian poetry cultural heritage, this mental state becomes a breathing of the elements, invoking the seasons and their energy, the cooing of birds, the rustle of petals on rock, enchanting snow flakes.
This colourful scenery is a suspension of time; it is a point in the movement of time heading elsewhere. Kiki Xue’s work shows the tingling multitude that makes and holds this suspension.
A selection of photos goes along with the paintings. They bring the latter into perspective as the natural extension of the artist’s previously photography based work. With its flowers series, a temptation for abstraction emerges from fashion. Fashion becomes so carnal, so perishable, almost hurt. The spots grow into bubbling chewing- ready to blow up to the face of the world, water lilies serenading Ophelia’s endless sleep. Confronted to this man holding a knife, they become blood stains, and for the young woman lying in water, they take in melancholy or serenity. Mental space becomes a floating world. They are the dreams of these characters, acting like an escape to curl up in.
Points de suspension
04 May - 17 June 2018
20, rue des Gravilliers 75003 Paris