China, China: recent works in porcelain by Ah Xian was an exhibition of 40 hand-painted, porcelain body-casts by one of the most interesting artists to emerge from post-cultural revolution China.
The exhibition was the result of the artist’s sojourn to Jingdezhen, China, the historic centre of China’s fine porcelain production, in 1999.
It was also the result of a decade long philosophical journey in which the artist had sought to reconcile his own cultural background with the artistic language and values of the West.
The China, China series includes a group of vibrantly coloured porcelain busts, and a few pairs of legs, conceived and cast by Ah Xian, that were made in kilns at Jingdezhen and hand-painted under his direction by local artisans.
As Ah Xian observed: “Twenty years after the Cultural Revolution and after China has opened its door to the world, we as artists with a Chinese background, should have learned and been sufficiently influenced by Western philosophy, art and culture as a whole to attain a level of confidence and capability to tell story about ourselves using our own language. I feel that we should not need to tell stories about the Chinese situation only through the foreign languages that we have just learnt.”