From a very early age, Cui Jie was obviously a very gifted artist, and she continues to develop her style now that she is in her mid-30’s. Jie was born in Shanghai, China and eventually ended up studying and honing her craft at the China Academy of Art in the Oil Painting Department. While she now lives in Beijing, China, she is not a total unknown to the Western world, with the Wall Street Journal going as far as to describe her as one of “China’s rising art stars.”Over the years, the style and subject matter of Jie’s work has changed a little, with her latest work perhaps being the most intriguing. She has spoken about synesthesia, which is essentially when people see a color when they hear a specific sound. She is looking at introducing that idea into her current way of working as opposed to going off on a totally different tangent to explore the connection between sound and visuals.
People unfamiliar with the work that Jie delivers may be interested to hear about how she comes up with her ideas. The art for which she is best known involves looking at sculptures and buildings within the parts of China where she has lived and worked, and then creating a painting of those structures, but from a very different viewpoint than what you would get from looking at them at street level. She often talks about the texture and surfaces of the structures and buildings in question, but rather than taking a hands-on approach, Jie will let the reflections off these surfaces, and the feelings and emotions they invoke, guide her once she decides to put paint to canvas.
The end result of this truly Modernist approach to art are pieces that are stunning to look at. With your first look, you can clearly see the sculptures and buildings as separate pieces, but the more you look, the more they seem to merge and become one and the same. There is a familiarity there, especially for those who have been to those cities and seen the subjects, yet you also feel as though you are viewing these pieces from an angle that you couldn’t get to in the real world.
JIe is of the belief that architecture experiences the passing of time in much the same way as humans do, so she sees here take on the structures that she uses in her art as a way of re-shaping that history. It’s an incredibly exciting concept that very much shines through in every piece that she creates. Given her past, we can certainly expect her to start incorporating new styles and techniques in the future, which is a truly exciting thought for lovers of her art.