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Qiu Mai (Michael Cherney) (b. 1969)

“Selected Source Image (Fan Motif #21R)” 2017

Photograph, ink on mitsumata paper, framed
13.0 x 39.8 cm. (5 1/8 x 15 1/8 in.)

Artist’s seal: Qiu

This series presents landscape images and elements of landscape—such as the tree branches here—in traditional Chinese fan formats. The bare branches of the longzao 龍棗 tree, which grows in the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, are frozen within the distinctive shape of a folding fan. The artist has produced both positive and negative versions of this photograph and in each of these the tree-aspect, the actual subject of the photograph, appears as a purely abstract pattern. The fluid lineament, dynamic rhythms, and intricate weaving of lines, however, are purely organic, determined by the growth and form of the actual tree. Abstraction, then, is here only skin deep.

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