Fu Xiaotong—The Holes on Rice Paper, Aren’t They a Breath of Life?

TEXT:Sue Wang    TIME: 2018.12.24

Albert Camus once said that, no artist can live without reality. Art can question reality, but art cannot escape from reality. Compared with most mature artworks, the living conditions and life stories behind the art production seem to be more intriguing. Taking from the first-person perspective, CAFA ART INFO is now presenting you with our latest micro video program, “Art Walk: Behind the Scenes”. With a focus on individual artists’ life stories, we will take you on a tour to explore how an artist actually works and lives in real-life situations. This series will be filmed at a part of the artists’ studios at some art districts in Beijing. Each artist’s unique character will be revealed to our audience in a more realistic and tangible way.

Born in Shanxi, China in 1976, Fu Xiaotong graduated from Oil Painting Department of Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts, China in 2000, and graduated from the Department of Experimental Art, China Central Academy of Fine Arts, China in 2013. Since 2001, Fu has been a lecturer at the Institute of the arts, North China University of Science and Technology, Tangshan, China. Currently she lives and works in Beijing, China.

735,000 Holes
Made paper
116x85cm
2015

Whorl
Made paper
45.7x35.4(in), 116x90cm
2015

The Beginning of Chaos
Made paper
157x16(in), 400x41cm
2015

Fu Xiaotong was punching holes with needles in rice paper

In simple terms, Fu’s artistic language was achieved by “punching holes with needles in rice paper”. “A needle”, as a traditional tool, naturally carries various cultural implications. Fu Xiaotong was born in Shaanxi. When she was little, her mom used to make embroidery works in the dim light, which left Fu with a lasting impression. Gradually, Fu became fascinated with holes made by needles. She said that, “holes represent a condition between semi-transparency and 100% transparency, a sense of fragility. From time to time, we might need to release some of our daily life stress through these “holes”. The light that shines through the holes is probably like a bright lamp in the darkness, raising hope in misery.

Limitless
32 pieces
Mixed media, variate
2017

Swing Clock
Mixed media
Details

Moon Rabbit
Mixed media
22x45x172cm
2017

Luohe Diagram
31 pieces, variate
Copper wire
2017

Luohe Diagram
Copper wire
Details

Fu Xiaotong explored many artistic methods to make “holes” during her studies in the Department of Experimental Art, such as cutting out, multiplying and overlaying. Currently, Fu is also trying to make some 3D holes out of 2D holes on rice paper. No matter what media Fu is experimenting with, Fu’s pursuit for holes is indeed a pursuit for transparency.

Long-tailed Wolf
Iron wire
206 x76x25cm
2017

Father
Iron, wood, hemp rope, newspaper, clay
33x30x190cm
2017

The Rebirth of Hydra
Mixed media
236.2x157.5(in), 600x400cm
9 pieces, variate
2017

The Rebirth of Hydra, details

In recent years, Fu Xiaotong has been gradually developing her mode of creation. Since her artworks make promising sales, Fu was able to create freely, without any financial burden. However, her studio moved frequently due to the on-going construction and demolition in Beijing. Fu Xiaotong feels exhausted with this, and the way she punches holes in her works could be seen as a way to release herself and battle against despair and loneliness.

The making of Fu Xiaotong’s works

Courtesy of CAFA ART INFO