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Distributed for Hirmer Publishers

Flourishing Spirits

Xu Jiang & Shi Hui

Contemporary sculptural artists Xu Jiang and Shi Hui each turn to the natural world for inspiration, yet their interpretations are fundamentally different, with the result that their works may best be considered in dialogue.

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.

282 pages | 121 color plates | 9 x 11/1/2 | © 2013

Art: Art--General Studies

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Table of Contents


                Symbolic Nature by Beate Reifenschneid

                Blossoming Spirits by Gao Shiming

                The Thread and the Sunflower

                Material and Symbolisd in the Artwork of Shi Hui and Xu Jiang by Claus Mewes

Bathing in Life Giving Fire

                Longing for Life by Xu Jiang

                Complexity and Poetics of the Painting by Xu Jiang

Biography of Xu Jiang

Quiet Water Runs Deep

                From ‘Spiritual Experience’ to ‘Cultural Experieince’: The Art of Shi Hui by Fan Di’an

                Poetic Simplicity: Shi Hui’s Work and Its Overtone by Fan Jingzhong

Biography of Shi Hui

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