Come, look and see……Us

group exhibition


July 14 at 5 PM, 2009


July 14 till 31, 2009


CEAC, Xiamen, China

I paint myself, my wife, my parents, the intimacy of my existence. I paint how it is to feel being ‘there’ — an affective someplace in which I find myself. This painting is not about objects, about commonplaces, about the mass produced material world. I do not sms images as if such tokens could create common space. Space is individual, complex, divided and difficult to communicate. A painting has to be looked at — not just electronically shared as a token. Electronic markers may establish a rational, sign posted way of being together — but this is abstract contact and very impersonal. The painting requires time, to make and to look at. It does not have an automatic sense and is not easily and simply shared. The painting makes demands on time and seeing. I have to puzzle often weeks to find the painting inn me and to be able to start to paint. And it is my intention that the viewer puzzle a moment to find a perspective and sense of meaning in what has been painted. We have images all around us as visual throwaways — moments of visual stimulation to be forgotten as quickly as they are displayed. The painting tries to slow down time – to demand a moment of attention in a world of images that fly about our heads unattended to. Do I have the right to demand the observer’s attention? Is this arrogant? In the visual chaos that we live in asking someone to really look at something is making an extraordinary demand. And I want the viewer to really look – I want to make that exceptional demand. It is not that I want to claim that what I have to say (paint) is so extraordinarily important. But I do want to claim that people who never look never see — when they do not look they don’t live relationships for they won’t see what they have. Therefore it is, I believe, crucially important to see — and painting is the art of seeing. It has been popular (for instance in postmodernism) to berate ‘seeing’. Seeing was supposedly too intellectual, too male, too aggressive. I wish to counter this critique. Not seeing is too blind, unfeeling and emotionless. Seeing is a key dimension to knowing one is alive. As long as one sees, one knows one exists — I see therefore I am. But in the monotony of garish consumerism one cannot see. I paint that there is seen – firstly by myself as the painter and thereafter by whomever is willing to look at my paintings.

–Mi Zhenxi
All along, I work to explore the existence of myself, quite often to use the way of self-portrait to record the fragments of life. However, the existence of me is uncertain, different conditions have different presentations. People often think that the person will become more real after the effect of alcohol, but this does not suit me, I will lose myself and get into a very strange person after mania alcohol. Perhaps that is a real, a kind of me that dare to face myself in the real life.

–Jia Zhixing—‘Lost’
People are inclined to find their own private space, but they also would like to have an independent thinking and acting. This is everyone’s personal space to reflect his/her personality, hobbies, occupation, status, experience, stories, life, etc. The “private space” has a certain distance from the surrounding as well as people do have – a kind of flexible distance. So this time I tried temporarily to narrow this distance, and to experience the different feelings of the private space. Wanting to communicate with other persons. Making record of their language, experiements, perceptions, small talks, the truth…. The whole process has to subvert the impression that I had the view of things and objects, and attempts to access to the information from the details of the private space and to present his/her scene or attitude. So either he/she would like to present something to me. Regarding ideals, love, life, humanity, growth……


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The CEAC art space is located in the heart of Shapowei, the art district of Xiamen.

Opening hours

Tuesday to Saturday

13:00 - 17:30

Visitor information

Siming South Road 400, 3rd Floor
Xiamen, 361005, China
Tel. 0086 (0) 592 2180850

Location map CEAC