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'Little Fatties' and lady acrobats
2012-10-09
By Wang Jie

SCULPTURES by noted artists Xiang Jing and Qu Guangci, a married couple, are on exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai through October 17.

The works over the past decade feature Xiang's huge Chinese female acrobats in terrifying positions and Qu's famous and extremely large "Little Fatty Series" with messages about China's so-called "post-political period" and Chinese society.

The first floor contains Xiang's sculptures in two groups - female acrobats and animals.

Born in Beijing in 1968, Xiang graduated from the Chinese Academy of Fine Arts in 1995. "Speaking through the body" is one of Xiang's trademarks. She has created series titled "Virgin," "Body" and "Naked Beyond Skin."

Xiang says the acrobatic performance is like the human condition - one must face terror each time she or he performs; the whole process is stressful to both the individual and the viewers.

"Everyone in this society is performing his own acrobatics to confront reality," she says.

Unlike Xiang, her internationally famous husband Qu, born in Shanghai in 1969, focuses on social topics.

As the youngest artist to win the grand prize at the National Fine Art Exhibition, Qu became renowned for his sculpting techniques. He is best known for his "Little Fatty" series, featuring a little fat men or men, wearing Mao suits and mindless expression.

Sometimes he evokes the "cultural revolution" (1966-1976), sometimes he sits in a big sofa or stands on a ladder staring at the sky.

He is also said to express an "intermediate state," between humanity and divinity, angels and demons, conflict and harmony, all reflections of Chinese society.

Date: Through October 17, 10am-9:30pm

Address: 231 Nanjing Rd W. (inside People's Park)

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