Xu Danqing's paintings are like a hazy dreamland, where a kind of implicit power lies in its gentleness. Graduated from the China Academy of Art’s Oil Painting department three years ago, Xu loves music, and from different musical genres – swing, bossa nova and others – she finds a joyful rhythm and a poetic sentiment that permeate her works.
Xu hopes to express sonorousness visually, to create paintings that are enriched by sounds and voices. She is particularly fascinated by jazz. "Jazz musicians aren’t content with a fixed tempo or melody. They have their own preferred turn of phrases and relish the freedom in performance. Be it trios, quartets or other groupings, they share a shifting emphasis for different musical range and a flowing reciprocity between musicians – just like how I arrange different elements on the picture plane to create a space that resonates, and it’s like how I feel such space too.”
For Xu, she finds inspirations in smell, rhythm, colour – all impossible to quantify yet all dance with our memories, triggering our thoughts. “Sometimes I choose colours by random, through instinct and physical reaction. Sometimes I try to grasp onto bits of feelings that are inspiring me, to set down these traces through abstract forms. Abstract forms can’t tell a specific story but it can tell a feeling. What stir up our senses can be a feeling of balance or order or restraint, and when these senses link with a particularly memory, a unique story is created that exists only in our own heart and nowhere else.”