A cat and Mao game for art

A cat and Mao game for art
Chinese artist Qiu Jie on featuring his pet in his artworks such as BB&Mao.

SINGAPORE - Through intricate pencil drawings, artist Qiu Jie confronts the history of Chinese society and the impact of Western popular culture.

His work, which combines elements of ancient Chinese art with contemporary imagery, often draws on his past and is in several important collections, including that of the Saatchi Gallery in London.

His solo show, now on at Art Plural Gallery in Armenian Street, features 21 of his recent artworks, including 18 pencil drawings, two oil paintings and an installation created for this exhibition.

Prices start from $4,000 and go up to more than $100,000.

In an e-mail interview with Life!, the artist, who is based in Geneva, says he was drawn to pencil as a medium for his drawing when he was a student at the School of Fine Arts in the Swiss city.

Working on a limited budget, the Shanghai-born artist says he could not afford expensive art materials.

But he wanted to create a large-scale artwork for his final-year project and pencil on paper "turned out to be the cheapest option".

As a struggling artist, he continued using what he calls the "simplest possible art material - pencil and paper - because of my financial constraints".

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