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e x h i b i t s

2012 Juried Competition First Place Winner
Selected by Nancy Meyer, LACMA


"Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom "

Exhibit Dates: April 12-May 5, 2012
Reception: Thursday April 12, 7-9pm


Rex Bruce

Mei Xian Qiu's title for her exhibit "Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom," a series of photographs portraying a Chinese takeover of the United States, is a popular Western mistranslation of the Chinese poem  "Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom, Let a Hundred Schools of Thought Contend." Mao used this poem to proclaim a great society where arts, academia, and "a hundred schools of thought contend."  As a result, artists and academics came out of hiding and there was a brief flowering of culture at that time. 

In Qiu's photographs, hidden political dangers are suggested and must be addressed urgently, but are put aside momentarily, subsumed to the romance of what she calls "the beautiful idea."  The costumes she uses are discarded U.S. military uniforms and Chinese mock ups taken from a Beijing photography studio, specializing in outfits for foreign tourists to re-enact Cultural Revolution Propaganda imagery. This body of work engages the constitution of the future, specifically with respect to globalism, the identity of the self and self view, the social landscape, post-colonialism, and that of the larger national body politic. 



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