Mari Griffith
10 May 2024

Geng Xue (b.1983)

Mari Griffith

10 May 2024 | Minute read

Geng Xue is a Chinese ceramics artist who works with porcelain, combining this age-old material with the modern medium of film to create innovative multimedia pieces.

Born in Baishan in Jilin Province, Geng Xue studied at Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, graduating in 2007 and gaining an MFA in 2014. She also attended the Karlsruhe University of Art and Design in Germany, where she studied video production.

Working with porcelain, Geng Xue creates sculptures that draw on Chinese philosophy, folklore and culture, but she combines this quintessentially Chinese medium with film, making stop-motion pieces based entirely on her sculptural work.

Geng Xue’s innovative pieces are often imbued with strong narratives, which relate to traditional Chinese sources. She first came to attention with her piece Mr Sea (2014), which relates to a Qing dynasty story about a young traveller meeting a beautiful but deadly serpent. She is also in inspired by own personal experiences: in The Other Side (Amgueddfa Cymru) she presents a dead female figure beside a river, referring to a friend’s death in a car accident. According to Daoist belief, when a person dies their soul crosses a bridge as they depart from this world.

Geng Xue’s visual references also derive from Chinese culture. For example, some of her figures that resemble dolls used in traditional Chinese medicine to identify ailments. She equally explores the language of porcelain – a fragile yet enduring medium – pushing it into new directions and exploring its limits.

Geng Xue lives and works in Beijing.

Mari Griffith is an art historian who has worked in the field of museums and galleries for 30 years, developing and overseeing learning and interpretation provision for public art collections and exhibitions, including at the National Gallery, National Gallery of Art and Royal Academy of Arts. Following a period working internationally on art and heritage interpretation, she is now a freelance writer, editor and translator – focusing mostly on art.

, Geng Xue
© Geng Xue/Amgueddfa Cymru - Museum Wales


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