24 Feb - 9 Apr 2022 Ah Xian
AH XIAN | Fledging
|Featured artist||Ah Xian|
Ah Xian is widely recognised, both internationally and in Australia as an artist of singular importance.
Ah Xian’s capacity to conflate and balance the elemental forms and media has given rise to countless poetical works. Fledging, a suite of works on paper developed over the last two years, marks a significant addition to that oeuvre. He has referenced the five elements of photography, hand-made Xuan paper, poetry, calligraphy and seal carving, wherein each part contributes to the constitution of a multilayered tableaux.
This series heralds a broadening of Ah Xian’s artistic practice and perhaps, a new life after the pandemic.
Ah Xian | Fledging
“Ah Xian is now widely recognised, both internationally and in Australia as an artist of singular importance.”
Ah Xian’s new works on paper – Fledging
Dr Damian Smith
For artist Ah Xian, the formation of the ‘new’ is not so much a matter of dispensing with what has gone before, but rather, it entails the emergence of new possibilities, created through juxtaposing elements of inherited culture with contemporary techniques and nuances. Studying Ah Xian’s new body of works on paper for instance, I am struck by their contemporary, even post-modern resonations; but I am also reminded how in Chinese cosmology the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water are shown to conspire in the production and flow of dynamic systems. For his new suite of works, titled ‘Fledging’, Ah Xian has combined the five elements of photography, hand-made Xuan paper, poetry, calligraphy and seal carving, wherein each part contributes to the production of a multilayered tableaux. Conceived as contemporary re-workings of traditional Chinese artistic forms, the works hint at the expanded interests that inform Ah Xian’s artistic vision. Self and other; the inner and outer worlds, how things fit together and the transitional role of skin as sensory zone, whereby the external is taken within and in turn leaves its indelible mark; the undeniable signature that speaks to worldly experience.
Ah Xian is known internationally for his superbly executed porcelain, cloisonné enamel and red lacquer figures, each of which are shot through with transporting vistas, often in Classical Chinese mode, and natural forms. His sculptures convey the expansive, indeed infinite, possibilities of each individual’s private, internal world. This bringing together of elements that might otherwise be seen as separate is one way of setting in form a presentiment of interconnectedness and the transcendence of corporeal realities.