Auction | China Guardian (HK) Auctions Co., Ltd.
2024 Spring Auctions > Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art
Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art

Qiu Xiaofei (b.1977)
Ruins 1(Executed in 2007)

Acrylic on wood installation

494 × 765 × 30 cm. 194 1/2 × 301 1/8 × 11 3/4 in.

Signed in Chinese, titled in Chinese and English and dated on the back of the blue and red piece in the centre

2008, Qiu Xiaofei: House of Recollected Fragments, Boers-Li Gallery, Beijing, p. 10
8 Mar – 6 Apr 2008, Qiu Xiaofei: House of Recollected Fragments, Boers-Li Gallery, Beijing

Boers-Li Gallery, Beijing
Acquired directly by present important private Asian collector from the above

Note: This work consists of 57 hand-coloured shaped blocks made by the artist, the size can be changed according to different ways of construction

In Pursuit of Childhood Memories within Dreams
Qiu Xiaofei Reimagines the Kingdom of Creation

Qiu Xiaofei, born in 1977 in Harbin and a graduate of the Oil Painting Department at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2002, stands as a prominent representative of contemporary Chinese "Neorealism" artists. His artistic oeuvre spans a wide spectrum, encompassing flat oil paintings, watercolours, sculptures, installations, and conceptual art. Through his unique blend of historical imagery and personal recollections, he delves into the fleeting nature of time in an era characterised by rapid change, unraveling the intricate web of relationships between individuals and society. His works have been exhibited in museums such as the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Today Art Museum in Beijing, and Tate Liverpool in the UK. Additionally, they are held in collections at renowned institutions including the M+ Museum in Hong Kong, White Rabbit Gallery in Australia, and by esteemed collectors Uli Sigg and Guy Ullens. In recent years, Qiu’s artworks have fetched record-breaking prices at auctions. Notably, last year, China Guardian set a world auction record for the artist with a single piece exceeding 5 million Hong Kong dollars.

Making its debut at auction, Ruins 1, created in 2007, stands as a celebrated installation artwork by the artist. Crafted from 57 hand-painted giant blocks, it marks the inaugural piece of his exclusive Ruins series, of which only two sets exist to date. Notably, it remains the sole creation adorned with vibrant colours. In the same year of crafting this masterpiece, Qiu Xiaofei earned recognition in the art world with his captivating painting installation, Life Drawing Class, featured in the exhibition The Real Thing: Contemporary Art from China at the very high-profile Tate Modern in the UK——a defining moment in his career. Ruins 1 transcends mere two-dimensionality, inviting viewers on a nostalgic journey through the sprawling castles of childhood dreams.

Time Stands Still, Life Fleeting as a Dream

As one draws near to Ruins 1, viewers are transported, akin to Alice imbibing the shrinking potion in a fairy tale, gazing upward at the towering castle constructed from colossal blocks. These blocks, capable of endless rearrangement, bestow upon viewers a profound sense of liberty and an uncanny semblance of traversing through time and space. With meticulous care, Qiu Xiaofei infuses the blocks with a weathered yet delicate colouring, evoking a palpable sense of age and texture: warm yellow bricks, white Roman columns, triangular rooftops adorned with red tiles, blue Roman planters, vintage-style windows——all meticulously crafted to authentically resurrect shards of "seemingly familiar" memories.

In today’s world dominated by electronic gadgets, "building blocks" hold a special fascination for adults and vintage toy enthusiasts alike. Qiu Xiaofei aptly names his colossal blocks "ruins," resurrecting his deeply cherished yet gradually outdated toys. This encapsulates a generation’s experience of childhood memories blurred by the sands of time——yearning for permanence while tinged with a hint of melancholy, exploring the intricate interplay between personal experience and collective memory. Qiu Xiaofei seeks solace and tranquility in his childhood recollections, offering an outlet of warmth and serenity through the kingdom crafted by these "building blocks". No longer merely the artist’s personal journey, this realm effortlessly stirs the emotions and memories of viewers, leaving behind a profound and enduring impact.

Price estimate:
HKD: 700,000 - 900,000
USD: 89,400 - 114,900

Auction Result:
HKD: --



All information contained in this website is for reference only,
and contents will be subject to change without prior notice.
All estimates and auction results shown in currencies other than
the Hong Kong Dollar are for reference only.
Although the Company endeavors to ensure the accuracy of the information,
it does not guarantee the accuracy of such information.
And hence will not be responsible to errors or omissions contained herein.

Wechat QR Code

Please use the "Scan QR Code"
function in Wechat