Galerie Ora-Ora is pleased to announce the return of sculptor Xu Hongfei to Fine Art Asia this year at Booth E10.
Our presentation "Absolute" reflects how Xu Hongfei uses the sculptural body to comment on social and aesthetic concerns. This exhibition uses art philosophy to present new ways of understanding his Chubby Women sculptures. This interdisciplinary approach emphasises how Xu’s artworks are elaborately clothed in inference and meaning, making them culturally significant. By challenging the canons of beauty, Xu elicits a discussion regarding the aesthetics of the female form.
For Xu, mediation is essential. His agency finds expression through his artworks, reflecting his beliefs about himself. Xu once expressed that an artist should stay true to himself and create art that frees the soul. Joyful on a Horse (2014) is an example of this, as it is an absolute internalisation in the form of conscious and free personality. Instead of leaning toward emotional restraint and coolness, the chubby woman riding the horse is energetic. Her arms are stretched outwards and her head is thrown backwards. Similarly, Pizzicato Trio (2017) also conveys human passion and feelings through gesture. The three chubby women are playing instruments with sincere and cheerful expressions. By creating artworks that free the soul, Xu’s sculptures appeal to people of different cultures and backgrounds.
Xu’s latest artwork and the highlight of the exhibition, Absolute (2019) depicts a chubby woman compressed into a round form. It reflects a breakthrough in Xu’s thinking because it is more abstract and symbolic than his previous works. Despite this, the sculpture still retains the spirituality of the chubby figure. Absolute (2019) does not aim for naturalism in proportion or shape. Instead, it is a mesmerising cypher of how the artist believes beauty comes in different shapes and sizes. This fleshy representation of the female form can be found in Western art history. European masters like Titian, William Etty, Jean-Auguste- Dominique Ingres often portrayed the female form as plump or curvaceous. Like Boisserees, Xu finds meaning in past Western art that is relevant to the present. By doing so and creating sculptures like Absolute (2019), he is able to broaden the Chinese vision of beauty.