Qiu Jie, the Artist Storyteller
Masterfully blending a diverse range of cultural influences and artistic styles, Qiu Jie produces paintings and drawings filled with images from his own autobiography as well as Chinese and Western history and contemporary culture. Qiu Jie is a pseudonym meaning “the man who comes from other mountains,” adopted to encapsulate his experience as a Chinese citizen living in Switzerland. Qiu’s work reflects his training in both Chinese Socialist Realism and European modern and contemporary practices. It encompasses impressionistic, meditative paintings of scenes from his daily life and precisely detailed, large-scale pencil drawings crammed with imagery referencing Chinese and Western geo-politics, history, and popular culture. His drawings, for which he is best known, take months to complete. They are crowded with scenes and figures from the Cultural Revolution—including Chairman Mao himself, in the form of a serious-faced cat.
Chinese, b. 1961, Shanghai, China, based in Geneva, Switzerland