Ah Xian

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by 77dee
Last updated 7 years ago

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Ah Xian

Ah Xian is a senior Chinese–Australian artist who is best known for his contemporary use of the ancient mediums of porcelain, lacquer, cloisonné and jade. ‘Metaphysica’ is the title given by Ah Xian to this ongoing series of bronze busts. Cast from life in a lengthy process, each figure is subtly different in expression. Also distinguishing each one are the objects which rest on top of the busts’ heads, ranging from deities and temples to animals and lamps. As he says, they are all ‘auspicious symbolic objects which reflect what people believe, love, appreciate and enjoy’. Some have a Buddhist influence and some are from historical or traditional tales, while others are from the imagination. Like the philosophy of metaphysics, these sculptures joyously explore the nature of existence and imply something beyond the physical entities we inhabit.

“Ah Xian, was born in Beijing, China, in 1960 and arrived in Australia along with his brother Liu Xiao Xian in 1990 shortly after the trauma of Tiananmen Square. His artistic practice has always focussed on a personal exploration of cultural and spiritual identity that he translates through the creation and decoration of sculptural busts and human forms. Ah Xian uses millenia-old Chinese art materials and techniques; jade, porcelain, lacquerware, cloisonne and bronze to form the base of his symbolically decorated works of art that address the artistic language and values of both East and West.”

Ah Xian

Blending of Eastern and Western Traditions

Ah Xian is a Chinese born artist based in Sydney, Australia. Ah Xian was a practising artist in China throughout the 1980s. He sought political asylum in Australia following the events of Tiananmen Square in 1989 and moved to Sydney in 1990.

Ah Xian’s engagement with Australia began in 1989 as a visiting scholar at the University of Tasmania’s School of Art, returning home to China just weeks before the violent confrontations with students in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in June 1989. After seeking and being granted political asylum in Australia with his brother, Liu Xiao Xian; Ah Xian shifted his art practice from painting to sculpture.


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