Internationally known for her figurative photographs and videos, Cui Xiuwen has suddenly returned to painting, the medium in which she received her MFA from Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1996. Gone in the same stroke are her signature subjects—louche nightclubs, sensual schoolgirls, dolls, Forbidden City courtyards, snowy landscapes—replaced now by lines and spheres of abstract compositions meant to reflect (and induce) spiritual contemplation of the most serene type. The show, titled “Awakening of the Flesh,” was supplemented on May 16 by a one-time group meditation led by the artist.
Pictured: Cui Xiuwen: Reincarnation No. 9, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 70 7/8 by 110 1/4 inches. Courtesy Klein Sun Gallery © Cui Xiuwen.