"She can make the golden armor gallop between blue and green, as if a military general were patrolling the frontier." —Christophe Comentale, Sinologist, Honorary Director of the French Museum of Natural History
Halcyon Gallery presents In Rainbows, a solo exhibition of QU Qianmei. Having spent decades living in France, QU Qianmei's artistic practice is characterized with French post-war lyrical abstraction, as well as the original oriental aesthetics that have grown within her. Working with mixed materials such as lacquer, wood powder, and mineral pigments, QU’s abstract works invite viewers to experience her emotional understanding of the ocean, the universe, and all things natural, while also offering a glimpse into her inner world.
Exhibition View of In Rainbows: Solo Exhibition of QU Qianmei ©️QU Qianmei, Photo by Yu Jieyu
QU Qianmei was born and raised in Wenzhou Ruian, a coastal city in Zhejiang Province, China. She has a deep connection to her hometown, which has been well-known for traditional lacquer art since the Song Dynasty. As a child, QU enjoyed observing the furniture coloring process. She apprenticed in a furniture factory, where she learned to trace gold and apply lacquer to furniture. This experience introduced her to lacquer, a traditional handcrafted art unique to China.
XI-05, 2021, Mixed media, 150 x150 cm F-01, 2022, Mixed media, 258 x240 cmJ-10, 2020, Mixed media, 180 x130 cm
In 1985, QU moved to France. From the Feiyun River in Wenzhou to the Seine River in Paris, water has become a meaningful and essential element in her life. It carries her childhood memories of home, while also connecting her to the greater world and others. Her migration journey embodies the Southern experience and symbolizes a microcosm of an era. These experiences are re-contextualized in her creations. The traditional skills of the Song Dynasty green landscapes and European Tempera can both be found in QU’s paintings. She uses a variety of materials such as shellac, pu’er tea, and natural mineral pigments, applying them onto canvas with clay and lacquer. Then, she adds swirls and curves taken from natural imagery to create a unique and majestic atmosphere that is both feminine and sensual. QU's work can be seen as a fusion of local memories and her imagination, allowing everything to flow and interact in a highly hybridized field.
T-20, 2023, Mixed media, 200 x200 cmF-10, 2023, Mixed media, 122 x122 cmF-05, 2023, Mixed media, ∅80 cmF-14, 2023, Mixed media, 80 x150 cmB-01, 2023, Mixed media, 140 x140 cmB-36, 2019, Mixed media, 200 x300 cm
Recently, QU has turned her attention to rice paper. In this series, she maintains her meticulous attention to the quality of paper and materials, while also achieving a breakthrough in a new artistic expression, with a lighter and brighter feel compared to her previous easel paintings. The lacquer and colors now flow freely on paper, intertwining into a song, and ultimately a poem.
About the Artist
b. 1956, Ruian, Zhejiang
Lives and works in Shanghai, Paris
2023 The Golden Age, Jing’an Art Space, Shanghai
2022 Scars In May, Virtual Exhibition, Shanghai
2021 The Power of Growth Ring, Jing’an Art Space, Shanghai
China International Import Expo, Shanghai
Half Garden, Shanghai Tower, Shanghai
ART Shenzhen，Bavarian Arts Foundation, Shenzhen
West Bund Art & Design，Jiaxi International Art Center，Shanghai
2020 The Pink on Gold, Jing’an Art Space, Shanghai
Spring, Jing’an Art Space, Shanghai
2019 Neutral Spirits, Jing’an Art Centre, Shanghai
Stalker de L’univers — QU Qianmei, Paris
2023 Espace dart Jingan, Shanghai, "The Golden Age"
2021 China International Import Expo, Shanghai
Half Garden - Qu Qianmei New Work Bxhibition
New Breakthrough Blooming in the Sky, Shanghai Tower, Shanghai
2019 Jinan Sculpture Park, Shanghai, "Natural Spirits"
City Hall of Paris, " Stalker of The Universe"
2018 Found Museum, Beijing, "Go on spring outing"
2017 Found Museum, Beijing, "Daily Spiritual Course"
Modern Gallery, Taiwan,"Daily Spiritual Course"
2016 Today Art Museum, Beijing, "The Convert"
2015 Philippe Stab Gallery, Shanghai, "Soul Tibet"
2014 Asia Art Center, Beijing, "The Invisible and The Intangible"
Asia Art Center, Beijing, "The Invisible and The Intangible"
2012 "Ciel, Terre et Temps" Invitation Exhibition held by UNESCO, Paris
2011 Shanghai Art Museum, "Circumstances. Experiences"
Modern Gallery, Taiwan, "Circumstances, Experiences"
2010 Found Museum, Beijing, "Circumstances. Experiences"
"Resurrection" collected by Rouen Cathedral, Paris
"Voice of Peace" collected and certificed by UNESCO
"Encounter" collected and certificated by ville de Castellon Spain ID Olympic
Barwell Art Funds
Taiwan Da Wu jiang Art Funds
Taiwan Yong Mei Art Funds
XIXI Design, Yuan Sheng Coffee (TaoXiChuan, Jingde Zhen)
Shanghai Astronomy Museum
Works are collected by collectors from France, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, and other countries.
About the Exhibition
Dates: September 8 - October 6, 2023
Venue: Halcyon Gallery
Courtesy of the artist and Halcyon Gallery.