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Purchased 2004. The Queensland Government's Gallery of Modern Art Acquisitions Fund
In the work China China - bust no.63, an incised composition adorns a sleeping human form. A traditional Chinese landscape, replete with mountains, water, trees and rocks, surrounds what could be a scholarly retreat. This sculpture appears as if Ah Xian has slid a human form into a classic Chinese painting, its bodily form and facial features becoming a delicately carved surface. Rather than revealing a hidden landscape, as in Human human - landscape carved lacquer bust 5, in which the lacquer surface is reminiscent of peeled flesh exposing the tissue beneath, this bust accentuates the notion of skin as a surface we inscribe. In China China - bust no.63, Ah Xian works with imagery from popular culture: these tropical landscapes indicative of the southern Chinese climate often depicted in illustrated calendars.
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