Xue Song began his initial experiments with collage after being inspired by an encounter with works by Robert Rauschenberg. Still, he struggled to find his artistic voice, explaining, “I wanted to break Chinese tradition and surpass western modernism. It is easy to say, but very difficult to realize.” In a twist of fate, his Pop art-meets-classical style began to crystallize after a fire burned down his studio, leading Xue to incorporate charred remnants of past work, books, and other belongings. He became known for colorful collages referencing political and popular icons and Chinese and Western art history, with burnt debris serving as a constant reminder of the past. Additionally, he picked up painting and experimented with styles ranging from traditional landscapes to Pop art. Through his series “Conversations with the Masters,” he engaged with the likes of Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Qi Baishi, and Xu Beihong.