My Journey: Xu Songbo

Returning to Fabrik Gallery for his second exhibition, Professor Xu Songbo of the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts presents his new series of oil works inspired by the Tang Dynasty.

November 14,2017

Fabrik Gallery is delighted to welcome again Professor Xu Songbo of the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts with his new series entitled “My Journey,” an exhibition that showcases recent oil paintings inspired by the Tang Dynasty. The exhibition runs from Wednesday, November 15 to Friday, December 22, 2017, and collectors and art enthusiasts are welcome to join the opening and meet the artist from 5pm on Tuesday, November 21st.

In “My Journey,” Professor Xu revisits the Tang dynasty’s love of the horse and the culture whose aristocracy valued horsemanship and the sport of archery. In creating this series of paintings with the horse as focal point, the artist creates a thematic extension of his original "Tang Style" series. According to Xu, the works in “My Journey” are “just like a movie sequel where supporting roles mature and then go on to become main characters, this new series draws from the previous but tells a unique story of its own.” The resulting compositions are more mature and refined, reflecting a deeper understanding of the artist’s personal style.

Considered one of the most open and embracing periods in Chinese history, the Tang Dynasty (618 –907) represented a golden age of cosmopolitan culture and a high point of Chinese civilization – an era full of poetry and fantasy. Xu’s long-held admiration for the Tang has led him to intensively research its history, as well as many of its artefacts. In order to truly understand the spirit and culture of the Tang, the artist believes that one must experience the lifestyle of the era, which is why he took up the practice of archery, eventually participating in various archery competitions and perfecting his skills as a horseman. These experiences were crucial to the creation of his artwork, allowing him to engage in a “dialogue” with the Tang Dynasty through time and space. Using both Eastern and Western materials, tools, techniques, and language, the artist starts his work with very precise sketches and then adds thin layers of transparent oil mixed with opaque oil paint colours to build texture. Xu’s paintings recall the form and colours of European Renaissance masterpieces while bringing to life the grandeur of China’s golden age of literature and art.

Born in 1971, Nanyang, Henan, Xu Songbo received a BA from the Fine Arts Department of Henan University in 1993. He later received an MA from the China Central Academy of Fine Arts. In 2005 as an Associate Professor, Xu taught painting in art and media, video painting, integrated art and other professional subjects at the Comprehensive Painting Department of the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts. Currently, he is a Vice Professor at the same institution.

The artist has exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions throughout China and Hong Kong. Xu’s published writings, Through Time and Space - Xu Songbo Album and Net Community, are dedicated to the discussion and expression of the spirit of traditional culture in the modern context. The artist lives and works in Beijing and Tianjin.