'97 Qiu ZhiJie's Work, an exhibition in the gallery of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, the premier school in China for traditional arts.

Qiu ZhiJie the artist of the one person show. Qiu ZhiJie

The exhibition was only up for two days. The gallery and the rest of the school buildings, which stand empty, are about to be demolished. The whole area is falling beneath the tractor's push. A wide avenue and shopping complex will replace what is now mostly the rubble of old brick buildings. The school has been relocated beyond Beijing's fourth ring road, to undeveloped land near the airport.

Toilet The installation of tiled faces is called TOILET. The sound effect accompanying the images is certainly a flush, and in keeping with the grimacing efforts that grip the face. The tiled faces playing on several monitors only hint at the artist's intention. Ideally, he would project the face on a large slab of marble, so that the image would truly look like a bathroom floor.

Escher's Hands Escher's Hands - If eyes are the windows of the soul, then hands may be the mute soul's voice. Or so the artist believes. Each set of hands tells a story, revealing their individual nature. One has a problem with identity, another is sensual, filled with self-love. At first glance, London thought the piece alluded to political corruption, a humorous comment on civil leaders trying to scrape off the dirt from their hands. Now that the media shines a glaring light on people in the news, political figures need a sharp instrument to clean their image. But no, the piece is not particularly political. As London soon discovered, all art in China is political. Simply doing video, or installation, carries a strong political message, one of change, of modernity.

Wu MeiChun, the curator of the show, tirelessly promotes video and other art forms new to China. She translates and organizes publication of relevant articles from western journals. In one of these Chinese magazines, London found her catalogue essay of Video Spaces: Eight Artists, a 1995 MoMA exhibition. At times, China and Chinese art can seem very close.

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