Cui Xiuwen: Awakening of the Flesh

May 7 – June 27, 2015

Press Release

Klein Sun Gallery is pleased to announce "Awakening of the Flesh," its second solo exhibition for Cui Xiuwen on view from May 7th through June 27th, 2015.

Utilizing various media, Cui Xiuwen’s artwork explores concepts of self-identity, human behavior and spiritual reflection. However, since 2002, Cui Xiuwen has avoided use of the very medium in which she holds an MFA—oil painting. In this new body of works, viewers once again see Cui approach the canvas—now with established artistic maturity.

In "Awakening of the Flesh," Cui Xiuwen departs from her recognizable use of symbolic language. Her previously commonplace icons such as schoolgirls, dolls, and landscapes are stripped away from her visual vocabulary. Instead, through the use of color, repetition, form, and line, these abstract paintings powerfully convey a myriad of concepts that grapple with ideas of mysticism, meditation, and relation.

Cui Xiuwen’s use of color, or apparent lack thereof, is both evocative and tranquil. Repetitive, colliding, and dispersed black and white lines—which vary in width and saturation—not only achieve a peaceful and subdued calm, but also reflect the chaos of daily life. Set amidst these ideas, Cui Xiuwen's sparse use of red as a single striking line, or blue as a hidden sphere, presents a hope for awakening through higher consciousness. 

What might also be perceived as sounds waves, the abstract series of paintings exhibited in "Awakening of the Flesh" strike a resounding and reflective chord. Each painting is of a unique value to different viewers, but all of the works prompt individuals to contemplate which wonders are most meaningful within their own worlds.

Born in China's Heilongjiang province in 1970, Cui Xiuwen holds a MFA from the Oil Painting Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts (1996) and a BA from Northeast Normal University (1990). Selected museum exhibitions include: “Inspired by the Opera: Contemporary Chinese Photography and Video,” Smart Museum of Art, the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL (2014); “Talk Statement,” National Taiwan Museum on Fine Arts, Taipei, Taiwan; National Museum of China, Beijing, China (2009) “Our Future: Guy & Myriam Ullens Collection,” UCCA, Beijing, China  (2008); “Floating - New Generation of Art in China,” National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea (2007); “The Thirteen: Chinese Video Now,” MoMA PS1, New York, NY (2006); “Untitled: Julia Loktev, Julika, Cui Xiuwen,” Tate Modern, London, UK (2004) and “Alors, la Chine?,” Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2003). Recent solo exhibitions include: “Reincarnation,” Shanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai, China (2014); “IU: You & Me,” Suzhou Art Museum, Suzhou, China (2013) and “The Domain of God,” Today Art Museum, Beijing, China (2010).

On May 16th, Cui Xiuwen will stage a performance dually named, "Awakening of the Flesh." For press inquiries, please contact Ysabelle Cheung at the gallery (212.255.4388) or via email at For all other inquiries, please contact Casey Burry at the gallery (212.255.4388) or via email at