"I integrate these sources of inspiration into my works by thinking about dreams, starry sky, reality and nothingness, combined with Chinese cultural elements, like Ching. I hope to explore my own world more deeply while expanding outward. Every one of us is familiar with dreams."
Artist and curator, Shuai Xu graduated from the Oil Painting Department of Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts, China, and a classical oil painting studio in 2018. Currently, he is studying in the Art Department of Claremont Graduate University in the United States. Xu's work focuses on the invisible world, and a lot of inspiration comes from his dreams. He has been concerned with topics such as the universe, individuals and nature for a long time.
"My current works focus on the invisible world, and much of my inspiration comes from my dreams. I am interested in humanity’s relationship to the cosmos, particularly as it plays out here on Earth; especially the relationship between individuals and nature. I hope to explore my inner world more deeply while expanding outward, to engage society and beyond.
My current works are built on my understanding of these historical works and my dreams, both of which have passed and both of which I explore while awake, assessing and analyzing them rationally and consciously. The dream world is an invisible world, but we cannot deny its existence. I proceed by “plagiarizing” scenes from my dreams, incorporating them into my work and giving them three-dimensional form in physical reality.
However, this does not mean that every one of my paintings comes directly from my dreams. I will record the content of my dreams, and get inspired by my dreams, and connect with the real world through the dreams. When I finished my work, the work may be different from my original dream scene, and I added my thinking in the real world to the work.
But it is undeniable that the initial motivation that prompted me to create these works came from my dreams. So I think dreams are very important to me. Sometimes, my paintings lead me to create land art. Because painting can create unlimited imagination in a limited space, I can freely conceive the land art scene in my mind through painting. Painting is like a draft of land art to me. My land art uses the land as a canvas to form a visually vast landscape, so as to explore the relationship between human beings and nature, and even between human beings and the universe. Whether it is dreams or cosmic space, we can call it the invisible world. This invisible world is often overlooked by society at large but it is the focus of my work."
This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist