Sui Jianguo: Blind Portraits

About the Exhibition

These monumental cast bronzes are not portraits in the traditional sense. All of them have features that resemble faces, but none depict specific people. This is not surprising given that they were enlarged from small clay models created by Sui Jianguo while blindfolded. The “portraits” are the intuitive results of the artist manipulating his material without the benefit of sight.

For Sui, this apparent limitation is a means of finding a different – and equally valid – method of creating sculpture. In this way, the artist brings together traditions of Chinese aesthetics and Western modernism, both of which share an interest in exploring the essential nature of materials and the effects of chance.

Born in Quingdao in 1956 and now based in Beijing, Sui has witnessed dramatic changes over his lifetime, from Mao’s Cultural Revolution to China’s increasing integration into the global economy. Blind Portraits, which he began in 2008, builds on a series of conceptually rich and thematically diverse bodies of work that have distinguished Sui Jianguo as one of China’s most inventive contemporary sculptors.

This exhibition is curated by Nicholas Baume



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