CUI JIE

Artist: CUI JIE 崔洁

DOB: 1983

POB: Shanghai

Education: China Academy of Art, Hangzhou 2006

Lives and works: Shanghai

No. works in collection: 2

Brief Bio:

Cui Jie’s experiences of 3 large Chinese cities – Shanghai, Hangzhou and Beijing – are reflected in her paintings, as are her memories of a childhood influenced by the excitement, disruption and constant change of the Reform and Opening period that utterly transformed China. She selects images of actual buildings that represent the hybrid architectural forms so typical of Chinese cities – Soviet-influenced apartment blocks, architecture with Chinese and Japanese stylistic elements, International Style modernist steel and glass constructions – and layers them into complex compositions. Her works, featuring imagined combinations of real structures, represent the transformation of China’s urban landscapes. Chinese cities are experimental laboratories of Reform and Opening, revealing how economic and social policies have changed the life of every Chinese person. This is her personal history, too: she points out that most of the buildings and sculptures depicted in her paintings are less than 30 years old.

Artworks

Accession Number: 2015.556
Title: Crane’s House 3
Date: 2014
Broad Medium: Oil/Painting
Specific Materials: Oil on Canvas
Dimensions: 150 x 110 cm
Description: Metallic abstract bird-like sculpture positioned in front of angular architectural structures

Exhibition History: Ex 20 ‘Hot Blood’ 2019
Cui Jie loves the vitality of Chinese cities, with their continually reconstructed public spaces. She collages images of ubiquitous Soviet-style apartment blocks, modernist steel and glass office towers, and idiosyncratic buildings that combine ‘Chinese characteristics’ with western features to create hybrid urban landscapes. Her paintings juxtapose actual buildings seen and photographed in Beijing, Shanghai or Hangzhou with public sculptures and windswept open plazas from different locations. We seem to be looking through plate glass windows; reflections and refractions partially obscure our view as we follow the artist on her path through this constantly transforming architectural confusion, an unsettling experience emphasised by distorted perspective, odd angles and a palette inspired by Early Renaissance masters. Cui’s paintings reflect her own experiences as a child of the Reform and Opening era that resulted in China’s dramatic transformation: most of the buildings and sculptures in her paintings are less than 30 years old. Crane’s House 3 an actual building in Shanghai, but the sculpture of entwined birds was found in a different location. Together they represent the shift from grand monuments of Socialism to modernist abstraction in the new Chinese market economy of the late 20th century.

#2 Accession Number: 2015.557
Title: Rose’s House
Date: 2014
Broad Medium: Oil/Painting
Specific Materials: Oil on Canvas
Dimensions: 150 x 200 cm
Description: Orange abstract sculpture in front of modernist International Style building

Exhibition History: Ex 20 ‘Hot Blood’ 2019
Cui Jie’s paintings evoke a sci-fi futuristic world of the artist’s imagination, even when, as in Rose’s House, they include real structures from different locations in China. Cui loves the vitality of Chinese cities, with their continually reconstructed public spaces. She collages images of ubiquitous Soviet-style apartment blocks, modernist steel and glass office towers, and idiosyncratic buildings that combine ‘Chinese characteristics’ with western features to create hybrid urban landscapes. Her paintings juxtapose actual buildings seen and photographed in Beijing, Shanghai or Hangzhou with public sculptures and windswept open plazas from different locations. We seem to be looking through plate glass windows; reflections and refractions partially obscure our view as we follow the artist on her path through this constantly transforming architectural confusion, an unsettling experience emphasised by distorted perspective, odd angles and a palette inspired by Early Renaissance masters. Cui’s paintings reflect her own experiences as a child of the Reform and Opening era that resulted in China’s dramatic transformation: most of the buildings and sculptures in her paintings are less than 30 years old. She says: ‘Chinese cities are like hybrids growing wildly, but beneath the chaos they are full of vitality, and so many possibilities.’

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