• My God Ⅱ-Qiu Minye Exhibition

    Essay: Fanlin

    Opening: 2017.09.23 / 16:00 - 18:00
    Duration: 2017.09.09 - 11.04 / 10:00 - 18:00
    Venue: OFOTO Gallery. 2F, Building 13, 50 Moganshan Rd., Shanghai

    Seeing a New World 

    Fan Lin

    If we agree to Roland Barthes’ idea that photography is nothing else than “that-has-been” and pure contingency, Qiu Minye’s "My God” series speaks otherwise.

    About “Time"

    Electric sparks are employed in "My God” series as measurement of time. In the 20-plus completed works in the series, Qiu uses electric sparks to outline the “objects” through continual exposures. Without the electric sparks, these works would be impossible. Time is immortal, while the artificial sparks pins it down to perceptible units with daily life material. Its repetition poses an issue that might be challenging to the form of visual art: when we talk about infinity, we do not talk about infinity per se but the relationship between the infinite and the limited. Vice versa when we talk about the limited. Such contrast embodied in the photos means that these works go deeper than merely recording the passage of time. That’s why for Qiu Minye, electric sparks are a perfect medium of expression.

    About “Figures"

    These two series both feature the core concept of creating fictional figures that goes agains Roland Barthes’ rule of "accidental encounter”. 


    All the figures Qiu Minye created float and dance in the gentle space like chanting. The artist reveals only shapes and movements, ignoring the regular elements like light, shadow and color that seem to be essential in normal depiction of subject matters. His subject matters directly equal to existence. With such an artistic language, he continues his ideas and techniques in the first series, formulating a closed circle in his way of creating. The second series features  the gentle human beings with antlers, transfigured fish, and objects of human worship. Comparing with the figures in the last series that explore the relationship between the individual and the crowd, this series goes into a discussion of cultural structures. These figures bear meanings of semeiology, but are softened and blurred by Qiu’s characteristic gentle touch. The intention of the new works are apparently deeper and more comprehensive, though the title and techniques do not emphasize the change from its precedent.

    The second series of the “My God” reminds me that the logic behind the visual language is more important than the experience of the works. In the essay I wrote for the first series, I suggested to put great emphasis on “experience” as a key to the understanding of the works, while in this series the creation of photography is proceeded with thinking and manufacturing. We can acknowledge that this break-through shows that photography as art can go far beyond documentary. A real artists excitement lies in creating new paradigms in visual culture.