Xu Jiang & Shi Hui
Distributed for Hirmer Publishers
A comprehensive introduction to the works of these two award-winning Chinese artists, both based at the Academy of Art in Hangzhou, Flourishing Spirits places them in conversation around the concept of the “spirit” as developed within the tradition of German philosophy. Xu Jiang’s most frequent subject is sunflowers. With blossoms that turn persistently to face the sun, sunflowers symbolize for the artist an entire generation faced with the need for reorientation after major historical upheaval. Often, he presents the flowers en masse, as with the 2011 work It is possible for them to live together. In comparison, Shi Hui’s works appear more delicate: soft, flowing forms that incorporate natural elements like paper, hemp, cotton, bamboo, and wood. Her monumental Old Wall, for instance, consists of tiny cubes constructed from paper pulp and metal thread. With more than one hundred illustrations, this book brings together works by these two important artists.