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Author: Li Xu 2000

Entering a material space with a subject of flame and paper and piecing together the scraps and embers after burning into the ultimate works is the expressive way Xue Song has been insisting on in recent decade.

Burning is one incomparably intriguing process, which makes seemingly common things transcendental, thus fundamentally changing the basic attribute of materials. Burning is also symbolical. On one hand, it represents warmth, hope and holiness; on the other hand, it also represents terror, disaster and evil. Since ancient times, these have been the duality of fire. Xue Song's works contains another special duality: the image on each scrap is independently existent in space and incomplete in information; locality integrates the entirety while toppling the entirety; information constructs image while decomposing image.

Among Xue Song's serial works once appeared several clear subjects: historical great men, news photographing, Coca-Cola, Chinese painting & calligraphy… Along this long visual journey, we behold multitudinously differing scenes and also appreciate his ability of maneuvering extensive themes. This painting album collects his brand-new serial works: "Talk with Masters". Among these serial integral images, you can see many famous works of very familiar masters, which are the musts in the history of fine arts, e.g. Picasso Pablo, Mondrian Piet, Yves Klein, Franz Kline, Johns Jasper, Qi Baishi, Xu Beihong, etc. In this piecing process, Xue Song applies very rich image resources: traditional Chinese painting & calligraphy, folk New Year (Spring Festival) Pictures, old almanac, historic pictures, outdated marketable securities and his own head portrait and magnum opus. The entirety and locality of pictures again meet the meaningful tension. Occident & Orient, individual & history and public opinion & practice conflict with each other while eying each other, now and then revealing different intelligence and humor. Xue Song funnily calls this technique " stand on the shoulder of giant".

One more step on the basis of truth may lead to irredeemable mistakes. Moreover, meaningful duality is more prone to cause understanding mistakes. "Talk with Masters" contains a series of "purposeful mistakes". Xue Song gladly and indefatigably relishes these "mistakes". It is due to such "mistakes" that his works becomes interesting.

Early morning, October 11, 2000

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