“Total Art explains experimental art through Confucianism; its principle is that everyone
gives their best, and makes the best possible use of everything. We are surrounded by
strict common standards that make us reduce the possibilities of the use of objects. Our
goal is to create a space of possibilities and to make the best possible use of everything.”
The wide spectrum of Qiu Zhijie’s activity, ranging from teaching to curating, critical
writing to political activism, unveils a portrait of the artist as a polymath whose artistic
work is an integral part of a larger, holistic approach to life. Embracing the concept of
Total Art, he suggests art as a powerful engine for awareness, personal emancipation, and
coming to terms with the dynamics of transformation and crisis that currently
characterize China and the rest of the world. His diverse production ranges from text- and
calligraphy-based works to photography, performance, installation, painting, and video.
This publication, produced on the occasion of the artist’s first comprehensive
retrospective, Qiu Zhijie: Journeys without Arrivals—taking place November 16, 2017,
through January 1, 2018, at Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève—features essays by
Andrea Bellini, Davide Quadrio, and Francesca Girelli, an extensive interview with the
artist by Liu Jingjing, and descriptions of the works on view.