Qiu Deshu: Mountainscape (Red), 2005 Ink, acrylic and xuan paper on canvas. 200cm high x 360cm wide (78 3/4 high x 141 3/4in wide).

Qiu Deshu 仇徳樹 (b. 1948)

About the Artist

Qiu Deshu is one of the few mainland artists to have received international recognition since the 1980s. He studied traditional ink painting and seal carving when he was a child.

During the Great Proletariat Revolution, he was sent to work in a plastics factory. In the late 1970s he started painting again and founded the Grass Painting Society (caocao huashe), one of China’s famous experimental art groups of the post-Mao era. It was during the late 1980s when he developed his signature style of “fissuring” (lieban) one of which we own.

In Chinese, this treatment is literally translated as “tearing and change” and it serves as a visual reflection of his dramatic and often disrupted life and artistic career. This technique involves applying bright colours to xuan (rice) calligraphy paper, tearing them up, then mounting the pieces on a base layer with spaces in between symbolising “cracks” in life’s journey.

Qiu is listed in Chinese Ink Art 2020 and his work can be found in the collections of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, Princeton University Art Museum, USA, Sullivan Showroom of Oxford University, UK, Origo Family Foundation, Geneva, Switzerland, Rathaus of Hamburg, Germany, National Art Museum of China, Beijing and Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, Taichung Provincial Art Museum, Taiwan, China.

Qiu Deshu: Fissuring Face To Face, 1989. Ink, acrylic and red ink paste on xuan paper, 111.8 x 95.3 cm.