Lives and Works: Beijing
Born in 1961 in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of North-western China, Qin spent his youth herding sheep in the vast and rugged landscape of this multicultural region where Chinese, Uighur, Arabic, Hindu and Russian are spoken—languages which have all been incorporated into his work—and received no formal education until the age of 12. In the 1980s, Qin left the region to study traditional painting and calligraphy at the Shandong University of Art and Design and in the mid-1990s moved to Berlin where he was asked to curate a show to promote cultural exchange between the two countries and then teach at the Berlin University of the Arts. Qin later moved to the United States, living in New York City and then Boston, where he did a residency at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University. This lifetime of multicultural influences and experiences is pervasive in all of Qin’s work.
Qin’s work is characterized by his highly expressive, gestural brushstrokes and use of unconventional support materials, resulting in an entirely unique pictorial language that addresses notions of civilization, philosophy, mysticism and language. He often constructs his paper—a blend of silk, cotton, linen and rice paper—by hand, lays the vast sheet on the ground, and, standing over it, sweeps and drips a huge Chinese brush dipped in black ink across the paper with unrestrained vitality.
Qin currently lives and works in Beijing. His work has been exhibited at institutions around the world, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Beijing; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Saatchi Gallery, London; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and Museum of Modern Art, New York and is included in many prestigious public and private collections.
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