Since 2004, Xia Xing has created one work per year. Each work consists of about 60 oil paintings, and each individual painting is a reproduction of one of the news photos he has chosen to paint.
08.05.19 is an oil painting of the news photo in the Beijing News (aka. Xinjing Newspaper) on the 19th of May 2008, seven days after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. The headline of the paper was "National Mourning for Three Days", with a news photo of a child's hand. The news photo was taken on the evening of May 16th, during the ongoing excavation at the Dongqi Middle School, Hanwang Township, Mianzhu City, Sichuan Province, and shows a student killed by the earthquake who was pulled from the rubble, still holding a pen firmly in hand.
"In relation to paintings that adopt a political stance (and address associated issues related to painting), people often stand in a perpetual state of evasion or denial. In the majority of cases, the most accomplished art in our patch of land serves merely to kick up a fuss, posture or throw fits of hypochondriac languor, or it produces vainglory that panders to sycophancy and sensual desire. People have for too long not dared to see reality. They lack the gumption to observe what is happening all around them every day.
To speak truth is a need. The possibility of speech will always persist. This is probably a major reason why painting still survives." Ai Weiwei.
Normally, newspaper pictures are explained by the story they illustrate. Xia Xing's paintings are the story. With headlines, text and captions omitted, the only clue to their meaning is the viewer's memory or imagination.
1974 Born in Shihezi, Xinjiang, China. Now lives and works in Beijing.
2017 XIA XING, Tang Contemporary Art, Bangkok, Thailand
2013 Four Years: Xia Xing 2009 to 2012, Chambers Fine Art, Beijing, China
2011 2007/2008/2009/2010, Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne, Beijing, China
2008 Quotidian Truths: Paintings by Xia Xing, Morono Kiang Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
2008 2006, Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne, Beijing, China
2007 2005, Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne, Lucerne, Switzerland
2006 2004, Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne, Beijing, China
Selected Group Exhibitions
2003 In Search of ...., China Art Archives & warehouse (CAAW), Beijing, China