Jia Qiong's Ophelia
Although now a thoroughly accomplished oil painter, it is fascinating to learn that Jia Qiong initially graduated from the Drama Department of his native Jilin's Art Institute. The figurines and mannequins seen in his work can immediately be traced back to his formative artistic training, their having no doubt at one time made a deep and meaningful impression for his to have carried them, figuratively speaking, through to his modern super-realist works.
The humanitarianism that his paintings concern is a constant theme, and universal in nature, hence their popular success and applaud internationally from as early as 1994 in Munich and Amsterdam. Although retaining an oriental element in subject / topic, we find Jia Qiong has mastered the Western technique, this being in no small part aided by a three year residence in Germany and artistic ventures throughout both Britain and France. Later returning to the mainland and settling in Beijing, his works have earned domestic applause as well as being exhibited at the World Master Art Exhibition, and more recently, 2004's Frankfurt International Artists Expo.
The canvases require a careful study to appreciate their luxurious detail, Jia Qiong paying distinctive attention to detailed surface-patterns, the works' colours retaining an almost jewel-like transparency and clarity. We find the artist capable of portraying his subject matter with a near-photographic precision in minute detail. The visual complexity and colour schemes, coupled with technical precision lend a tactile quality to the surfaces, even though an abstract quality is retained. For example: in the 'Showcase ~ Raining' series, each of the three large ( 140x200cm ) canvases, the reflective surfaces concentrate our attention onto not only inside the windows but also as to what is around the viewer, i.e the context of those contents. We are externalised, outside the showcase, looking in as voyeur. Through super-realism an illusion is created, whereby the two-dimensional canvases becomes three-dimensional, allowing us to play the impartial observer, at once in the scene yet remaining here quite literally outside, in the rain. The pathetic fallacy alters our mood and perception of the piece. Although the subjects of the work are models and mannequins, it is inevitable that we endow them with human emotions, creating them, the boundaries between that which is real and that which is not becoming ever thinner.
When we first encounter the canvases, there is a shock ~ this partly due to the impressive technique / high degree of illusionism, but also because of a recognition that the figures therein accurately mirror us and the society of which we are a part. They both reflect and inform. So whilst Jia Qiong's work is highly illusionistic, it retains a sociological and humanitarian content, here dealing with the issues of trend and tradition, as well as the constant materialization of the mindset so prevalent in China today. His works portray passive, isolated figures, beautiful, yet alone.
Born Jilin Province, China
Selected Solo Exhibitions
Images in The Mirror - Jia Qiong Solo Exhibition, Da Xian Art Gallery, 798, Beijing, China
Hiding - Jia Qiong Solo Exhibition, Hanmo Arts Gallery, Beijing, China
Spiritual Image - Oil Works Exhibition, Taiwan Classical Universe Gallery, Taiwan
Jia Qiong Art Works (1990-1998) Exhibition, China Art Museum, Beijing, China
Selected Group Exhibitions
Invitation Exhibition of China Contemporary Art, amsterdam, the Netherland
China-Songzhuangtour Exhibition, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, China
Songzhuang Art, Songzhuang Art Museum, Songzhuang, Beijing, China
Human in deep thinking, Shanghai Zhenda Museum, Shanghai, China
Songzhuang Contemorary, Songzhuang Art Museum, Beijing, China
Xu . Shi Part II, Belgium Embassy, Beijing, China
Xu . Shi, Soemo Fine Arts, Beijing, China
Chinese Contemporary Art, Grace Gallery, New York, the United States
Limitation and Freedom - Chinese Contemporary Masters, Beijing, China
Songzhuang Oil Paintings, Beijing East Area Art Centre, Beijing, China
Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition, The China Millennium Monument Art Museum, Beijing, China
Works of Chinese Contemporary Art Masters, Hanmo Arts Gallery, Beijing, China
Frankfurt International Artists Expo, Germany
China Vision, Shan Gallery Shanghai, Shanghai, China
Free Brush - Chinese Contemporary Paper Works Exhibition, Orange Modern Art Centre, California, the United States
World Masters Art Exhibition, the United States
East and West Artists Association, the United States