Duplicity

“Saying yes but meaning no” – the ambivalence of mind and heart, exterior and interior, appearance and truth. Xu Ying’s “Duplicity Series” draws on this double meaning in a surprising, provocative, but highly sensible way. Each painting in the series shows a male torso in a khaki green uniform. Body-shape, posture and hand gestures convey the image of a rigid and stiff government official. All the more, the viewer is struck to find, instead of a head, a sensual woman’s body dressed in lascivious clothes sticking out of the uniform collar.

The highly realistic depiction of the torsos enhances the both fascinating and grotesque effect of the image. Although part of the same body, the two torsos are separated through a stark contrast of colour and seem to have a will/life of their own. In each painting, the bodies convey an ambiguous body language:

A male fist aggressively clenched contrasts with two female arms protectively crossed in front of the body; a male torso with hands unapproachably placed behind the back contrasting with a female body seductively embracing/touching herself; or a friendly waving hand juxtaposed with two hands folded in the shape of a gun. While the body language of the male torso expresses emotions like aggression, power, benevolence or superiority – the outer appearance, the female torso conveys emotions like seduction, hesitation, weakness or fear – the innermost thoughts. In this way, the viewer is made the witness of a secret being bluntly exposed to the eyes.

Then we are allowed to see the truth behind the façade, to read mind’s deepest thoughts beyond the surface. Xu Ying’s “Duplicity Series” conveys to us in a most skilful and aesthetically appealing way the message that appearances can be deceiving.

 

Dublicity II, 2015, Kugelschreiber und Acryl auf Papier 30 x 22cm (Blattmass 42 x 30cm) SOLD

Dublicity IV, 2015, Kugelschreiber und Acryl auf Papier 30 x 22cm (Blattmass 42 x 30cm) SOLD

Dublicity III, 2015, Kugelschreiber und Acryl auf Papier 30 x 22cm (Blattmass 42 x 30cm)

Dublicity I, 2015, Kugelschreiber und Acryl auf Papier 30 x 22cm (Blattmass 42 x 30cm)

Dublicity VI, 2015, Kugelschreiber und Acryl auf Papier 30 x 22cm (Blattmass 42 x 30cm)

Dublicity V, 2015, Kugelschreiber und Acryl auf Papier 30 x 22cm (Blattmass 42 x 30cm)

Paranoid I, 2014, Kugelschreiber auf Papier, 30 x 22cm (Blattmass 43 x 32cm)

Paranoid II, 2014, Kugelschreiber auf Papier, 30 x 22cm (Blattmass 43 x 32cm)

Paranoid III, 2014, Kugelschreiber auf Papier, 30 x 22cm (Blattmass 43 x 32cm)

A taste of disregard, 2015, Acryl auf Baumwollgewebe, 40 x 60cm

Dublicity VII, 2015, Kugelschreiber und Acryl auf Baumwollgewebe, 40 x 40cm

Dublicity VIII, 2015, Acryl auf Baumwollgewebe, 40 x 40cm

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