Xie Yi is an artist whose work navigates the shifting current of Chinese society, politics, and economy, while maintaining a connection to the country’s deep cultural roots.
Part of a new generation of Chinese artists deeply affected and influenced by the country’s recent and ancient history, Xie Yi’s powerful figurative paintings engage highly traditional methods to communicate thoroughly contemporary ideas about art and culture in China today.
The work of Xie Yi is deeply rooted in tradition and rich in cultural significance. Figures drawn from ancient myths, or conjured from legends, form the strongly symbolic heart of much of the subject matter, but manifest themselves in their paintings in different ways.
The work of Xie Yi entwines history and myth in paintings of landscapes that strongly reference traditional ink-wash paintings – familiar to the Western eye in scrolls. Hers is an ancient meditative world, uninhabited by humans, but lled with reiki – or spirits – which are represented by the horse, a symbol associated with nobility and purity. The horses, which hover above or beyond the landscapes, are highly stylized and drawn with a naivety that emphasizes their other-worldliness.