2016 / Fine Art
Stories Beyond the Portrait
Stories Beyond the Portrait, 2012
Mixed media installation
150 x 150 cm
Face-reading or Physiognomy is the art of reading the mindâ€™s construction in the face and body. It is known to the Chinese as xiang, the character for which, ç›¸, consists of the pictures of a tree and an eye. The Shuowen jiezi èªªæ–‡è§£å—, a character dictionary from the Han dynasty, defines it as â€œeye meets thingâ€ or â€œto inspect.â€ (Kohn, 1996).
In Stories Beyond the Portrait, I am interested in this physiognomic inspection or reading of the face and the profound relationship of humanityâ€™s inquiry into the metaphysical dimensions of life. Using the concept of the 100 Year Map ç™¾æ²åœ– in Chinese traditional practice of face-reading as a vehicle and narration tool, this project investigates into a personâ€™s life based on evidences from old photographs, documents and belongings.
I invite you to read beyond these portraits, into each individualâ€™s memories, to learn and experience their unique stories and journeys.
Hu Qiren (b. 1983) is a visual artist whose practice explores the myriad forms of image making, incorporating a wide range of media, including photography, video, installation and performance. Expressing a vibrant visual vocabulary inspired by his own identity and tradition, Qiren synthesizes cultural binaries, while incessantly challenging notions of authenticity, belief and value systems.