Jiao Xingtao


The Return of “Abnormal”

——from Jiao Xingtao’s new works

Ni Kun 2010

Let us talk about this from an outside perspective.

To begin with, here what I will talk about may be a normal phenomenon; at least I believe it is. It refers to artist’s status and works, not totally but truly. The discussion of artist’s status relates to an artist’s facade, but most of time, it is contradictory to the artist’s real image and their exoteric ‘status’, because there is a clear environmental language behind status, which is still and slow, nevertheless, the split happens to come into being between status and artist’s own growing process. After all, artist’s instinctively criticizing attitude and experimental spirit are for the most part somewhat negative.

Jiao Xingtao is a sculptor, but he seems often more like a sensory artist. Although it is not a final conclusion, it reveals some fact as follows: 1. Compared to a sculptor, sense artist’s status is obvious, its latent line is that conception comes first and method next; 2. Throwing off the kind of classic drama works made of metal welding created by artists before, the works created by Jiao Xingtao usually have the form of ‘ready-made’, but the ready-made is not the ready-made of art history, it has no association with Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’, it associates with Andy Warhol’s works and so on. As we all know, consumerist’s figure is related to Andy Warhol’s, though its appearance is essentially different. Simply speaking, pop illustration art shows ready-made that is a kind of reality, which is used to criticize and reveal the structure of the logical relationship of. Jiao Xingtao’s ‘ready-made’ is just beginning, the shape of it is abnormal and the showing is impressive in style. Of course, it is important to be witness to the fundamental changes of the ready-made reality. Look at it likes this: Jiao Xingtao emphasizes language. As he pursues linguistic research, which made his work wandering the boundaries of sculpture fused with conception, from his perspective the device of the ready-made and sculpture become manifest in its own space.

Perspective is the essence for visual arts as it is in all other forms of art. The idea of witnessing is from the two systems, the internals of the mind, and external context. Context of change in the viewpoint of the variation of watching, the visual experience of modern people turn into a recognizable snapshot. The convenience of reading prompts us that we are in a cheap picture moment, as the value of modern reality life with collapsing values. Jiao Xingtao’s art has been to strengthen a view, where there are not only sculptors handling skills in the art of expression to the object selected by their own self, but also as a modern artist’s critical statements to how reality has become perverted. It was a sculptor’s view, with a dedicated perspective, breaking through the warped view. Description of experience for the public is not a new topic, it is worth paying attention to the artist for the specific objectives of the presentation and expression of the process, for example the artist shows characteristics of space, time, materials that are handling thought through a sculpture. In this aspect let us re-examine Jiao Xingtao’s works, and at least attempt to see the following purpose: the artist struggled to pull the viewpoint back to the same place with reflections of the self, although we may not know, the place where it’s ever reaching is full of broken traces, but this does not affect an artist to explore the unattainable. This is a Sisyphus-like bigotry and compared to the results, a process showing strength.


Since 2009, Jiao Xingtao’s art practice is a critical presence to his former creations, which from my point of view is a breakthrough. One of the biggest qualities is that from this stage, the artist consciously emphasized a concern about their work material and language poise when speaking about real things. It is completely different from the presentation system of the ‘expression-context’, which is deliberate in the works of the material properties to translate existence itself. As the concern to the existence is related to the essence, and the meaning of negative and positive are beneficial when any work in the present is stressed of ‘sense’. As the artist is at the beginning of change, there is not much discussion to the late works, however the beginning is crucial, the viewing perspective being transformed will bring unknown works, which deserves all of our attention and expectations.