Date: Apr 8th to May 21st
AroundSpace is pleased to present Shanghai artist Qiu Jia’s new works, Elemental Structures, in Spring 2018. The exhibition will introduce dozens of assemblage works made primarily of wood, which explore how the functionality of objects were transformed and dissolved in a public space, and how they were turned into a slice of memories and a narrator of time.
In the 1950s, American artist Robert Rauschenberg created a series of assemblage works made of materials found in the neighborhood around his New York studio: spikes, threads, stones, and wood boxes, and named them Elemental Sculpture. Through these quasi-Minimalist works, Rauschenberg examined the relationship between the basic aspects (contour, shape, and volume) of these raw, unrefined materials, and their occupation in public space. His choice of found objects can be traced back to contemporary art pioneer Duchamp's readymade artworks. Qiu Jia departed from these antecessor masters' experiments, de-constructed and re-assembled the old furniture he found, and turned them into three-dimensional collage works, perpetuating the legacy of Dada and Cubism art.
Qiu Jia was immediately drawn to wood desks and tables that were worn and torn by longtime use. In his Private Objects series, he sawed, cut, resembled, and laminated the vintage wood furniture he collected, and integrated them into his assemblage works. From a personal angle, he chose different desktops and tabletops, rearranging the pieces of wood in a new order and creating a new dynamic among them. Qiu Jia then paid close attention to this dynamic, constantly made selections, and eventually created a group of cone-shaped elemental structures. Each has a plane surface on top, these pieces look like cutoff mountain peaks, or foundations of a wooden pagoda. Every piece in this series is unique. With changed function or altered scale, these usable structures once separated from the entire furniture, became fragmented signifiers, both familiar and unknown, constructing new aesthetic value and metaphors. Qiu Jia has a passion about wood and a comprehension of materials and objects: for him, various surfaces, textures, and smells of different wood are all essential components to his works. His simple, unornamented approaches are indebted to the straightforward Minimalism and Conceptual art tenets.
Qiu Jia stated that he is "interested in the universal characteristics of daily objects, and can sense the traces of life they contain." He attempted to "enable these objects that are no long popular or in use to regain positions in a contemporary context." Elemental Structures are not merely elemental; they are the elements that construct the private and public spaces, and containers of emotional stories, or passing time,simply waiting for us to discover.