Xue Mu

Xue Mu (b. 1979 Nanjing, CN) is a Visual Artist based in Amsterdam NL and Nanjing CN. She is an alumni at de Rijksakademie Voor Beeldende Kunsten (2011-2012), Gerrit Rietveld Academie (2009) and Dutch Art Institute (2006). Between 2013 and 2015 her projects were presented in art institutions at de Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, de Appel Arts Centre, He Xiangning Art Museum Shenzhen and AMNUA Nanjing. Mu has been commissioned several times for public art projects in the Netherlands from 2009 to 2012.

Bypassing the conventional perception of value imposed by the modern world, Mu’s often abstract artworks are the result of a process of reflection that associates today’s existence. Through an almost synesthetic approach, Mu visualises the paradoxical co-existences between insignificance and value, to dispute the physical understanding of reality and its moral conventions. While facing the intensified ideological confusion and identity struggle at present time of globalisation, critical social events inspire Mu as a catalyst rather than a subject – they accelerate the revelation of the intertwined relationships between the stories surface (the image) and its concealed cause (the dynamical truth). Through art making she wants to revive a mind space exploring the, in fact, non-hierarchic and ever circulating being of things as a complex unity. 

  • Catalogue, 22nd April - 9th June 2019

    The words “black diamond” conjures an image of a rarity, of something exquisite and uncommon. In a way, Xue Mu’s Black Diamond series exude that same spirit of the pure filtering of existence. Though at first glance the series of signature Black Diamonds done over the years of her practice seem indiscernible from one another, in fact, each work is a distillation of thoughts and actions specific to that work. The movement of the lines is also reminiscent of action paintings, in that action and physical movement of the artist itself is a crucial and integral part of the work, arguably even more important than the artefact left behind. The artist started the series through expressing the energy of music and dance with abstract graphite. In recent years the artist has been reflecting on lectures on critical theories by philosophers of music, dance, technology and psychology and articulating her impressions through the physical act of mark making. The lines are both continuous and interrupted, chaotic and harmonious, loud and soft, unifying into a beautiful collaboration of movement and visual art.

    The work on show is an early work done during the artist’s first series. Each work in this first expression demonstrated a uniqueness, where today the black diamonds are familiar and confident. In this particular work, there is a lightness in its appearance, even though the lines are pushed and shuffled around deliberate and strong consciousness. The Black Diamond drawings remain a main stay for her study practice, where on the other hand, the artist busies herself with collaborations and new ideas and concepts for shows, performances and lectures. With years of familiarity and practice, the artist is now able to work quickly and swiftly on perfect, strong and confident motion.

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  • Apertures, 24 June - 3 September 2017

    Yeo Workshop is delighted to present Apertures, a group exhibition featuring the work of Mike HJ Chang, Merryn Trevethan, Xue Mu, and Filippo Sciascia in a presentation of contemporary artefacts, comprising painting, photography and sculpture, that come together to present conceptions of light and its role in visual perception. These artworks are indices of the contemporary experience, highlighting the lenses of perception that currently filter the everyday experience of individuals, and conceiving a narrative of light and luminance as that which informs and structures our senses of perception and experiences of the world. 

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  • Xue Mu: Liquid Truth, 10 January - 19 March 2017

    As an artist working across different mediums, Mu conceptualises and materialises alternatives to a conventional life experience. Viewers are embraced in monochromatic and minimalist installations and confronted with large-scale drawings and photographs, demanding attention and contemplation. 

    Deconstructing Rodin’s The Thinker and Michelangelo’s David, Liquid Truth presents a body of work created through a series of re-photographing, where the iconic images are subjected to distortion, repeatedly photographed in its process. The playful distortion of the three-dimensional statue is rendered in two-dimensionality, depicting a layering of visual and conceptual experiences, each more removed from the first, where truth appears to be liquid.

    Liquid Truth questions the reliance on interpretation of existing knowledge, and so Mu’s work creates a perceptual distance from the original and its associations, deconstructing subjectivity in the process of understanding. The distance from an original evokes an awareness of the fixedly familiar ways in which our lives seem to be organised. A departure from an understanding based on reference to established knowledge thus gives birth to new ways of thinking and perceiving in Mu’s current iteration of Liquid Truth. 

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  • Xue Mu: A Childish Nothingness, 21 November 2014 - 11 January 2015

    The exhibition presents the most recent body of work by Xue Mu. It visualises the artist’s current investigation on value paradox through an otherworldly perceptual experience. Large abstract charcoal drawings, juxtaposed against a series of still-life photographs, together with a formation of small objects and flows of silk banners; all the works are displayed atmospherically in the gallery space in Mu’s signature installation style. As the title alludes to, the presentation shows lightness, playfulness, and spontaneous yet efficient arrangement on the contemplative thoughts of the artist.

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  • Ad Hoc, 20 September - 9 November 2014

    Ad Hoc suggests an improvision, a solution to a problem. The works presented show a small survey of a variety of artists who are at the forefront of contemporary art production and working within Singapore today. This group of artists pose a prescription in their work to tackling the current issues and problems of contemporary society through technique and concept. This exhibition explores these trends in the current showing of prints, paintings and drawings.

    Presenting recent works by Maryanto, Antoine L'Heureux, Xue Mu, Haruki Ogawa and Ian Woo 

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  • The Sound of Light, 27 November 2013 - 10 January 2014

    This group exhibition showcases artworks that were created after, and under, the influence of music and text.  The exhibition title refers to electric guitarist Steve Vai’s iconic album “The History of Light”.  Works were chosen for their aesthetics and gestures that lie beyond the retinal pleasure of the surface image.  The Sound of Light suggests wave matter that transcends beyond optical.  The artists have channeled sound waves and the influence of music and trance to mark-make (Mu), spray visual noise or static onto surface (Vao), create performances that contain themselves posthumously onto canvas (L’Atlas), and chance images given a driving text or narrative (Tsibakhashvili).  

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Works