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Exhibition of New Series of Paintings by Chinese Artist Xiao Se at Eli Klein in Beijing
Untitled, 2010. Oil on canvas, 57 1/2 x 45 5/8 inches, 146 x 116 cm.

BEIJING.- EK Projects presents “Xiao Se’s solo exhibition, Beijing”.

In this new series of paintings, Xiao Se broadens his interest in the mundane-turned-surreal, constructing images of contemporary Chinese men and women in characteristically ambiguous spaces and attitudes.

Keeping with the distinguishing traits of his previous work, Xiao Se paints fleshy, photorealistic figures that inhabit surrealist spaces filled with pools of water, broken ceramics, and those trademark long-stemmed red flowers.

Xiao Se is a collector of images, both historical and contemporary. His connoisseurship of European art history shows in his appropriation of Madonna imagery, done often out of irreverence rather than worship. In other cases, Xiao Se’s compositions seem to be made up of figures culled not from Antiquity but a personal photo album. A shirtless, smoking man and two smiling children in a canoe mingle inexplicably on the same canvas, as though cut and pasted from two different sources.

A sense of provocation pervades the series: in one painting, a flying fish hovers over a table while the main attention is on two fingers clutching a breast. Xiao Se tests the limits of our acceptance of conception, mixing reality with illusion. The awkward disconnect between his figures and their environments demands, yet at the same time resists clarification.

Xiao Se was born in Beijing, China in 1970 and graduated from the Central Academy of Art and Design, Beijing, China and the Qinghai University in Xining, China. He currently lives and works in Beijing.

“Xiao Se solo exhibition, Beijing” will be on view at EK Projects from March 5th through April 20th, 2011.

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