Qiu Zhijie: total art, the creation of new cultural significances that incorporate different philosophies and consider pancultural systems
Qiu Zhijie was born in 1969 in Zhangzhou, Fujian Province, China. He is a leading figure in conceptual art and new media. The artist, writer, curator and teacher has earned critical recognition worldwide for his thought and practice of “total art”, which forges new cultural meanings from various philosophies and systems of thought from all time and everywhere. Qiu’s first investigations gave shape to multimedia installations using organic material, ancient and found objects, photography and video, often with interventions and performances. Since about 2010, Qiu has been mapping the imaginary networks of his sociological, philosophical, cultural, political and epistemological research. A virtuoso calligrapher, ink painter and landscape cartographer, Qiu was commissioned to create Map of Theatre of the World (2017) for the exhibition “Art and China after 1989” at Guggenheim Museum in New York. In the work ’Map of China - Arabia’, currently present in our Beijing gallery, Qiu Zhijie continues his ‘Mapping the World Project’. This is a project that sees the artist literally "map the world" through large, detailed and beautiful maps. Topics such as politics, religion, mythology and society as well as ideas, relationships, objects, and cultures are interconnected in these maps, offering a different way to understand their relationship to one another, and eventually our relationship to each other. Qiu Zhijie is also a well-known and published art-writer as well as a curator, for which he has curated important events such as the 2012 Shanghai Biennale and the 2017 Venice Biennale. He is the Dean and professor of the School of Experimental Art at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing and professor of the School of Intermedia Art at China Academy of Art.