Layered Hills send off Glimmering Light


Helsinki Art Museum, Helsinki, Finlnad

6.07 to 1.09.2024

Layered Hills send off Glimmering Light is the starting line of a poem by Wen Tingyun (812–870), which casts a blurry glimpse into the interiors of a lady’s bedroom while she is dressing up. But how can hills be layered and folded inside a room? Perhaps they were on a screen, which once opened became the landscape where she rests asleep.

Here the ambiguity of words refuses to distinguish land from its representation, therefore, like an image on screen, the hills and rivers are stretched, multiplied, scrolled, spliced up and moved around.

Taking up from the devices of Chinese traditional image-making, the concept of landscape is studied as a surface across objects.

On view is a group of painted objects that take upon themes and images encountered in Xiao’s research on landscape in Chinese art history. Transformed through the use of five screen panels created by the artist, the exhibition space is envisioned as an event of bógǔ (博古). Bógǔ refers to the act of studying or appreciating classical artifacts in somebody’s collection. It was a typical gathering of Chinese intellectuals during the Song dynasty (960–1279).

The exhibition is supported by Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike). The artist extends his biggest thanks to studio assistant Paavo Kärki.

In 2024, the exhibitions at HAM gallery are supported by the Finnish Heritage Agency.




Full exhibition text

Screen image bibliography



















Landscapes after Tang-dynasty Poems, 2024, oil on linen, 30 x 62 cm








Untitled (Screen A),(detail), 2024, digital print on cotton twill, 250 x 250 cm (*2)






















Don’t Keep Diving, 2024, stained glass, steel, 65 x 57 cm















435 gr, 2024, oil on linen, cast iron powder, 25 x 17 cm








565 gr, 2024, oil on linen, cast iron powder, 24 x 17 cm








747 gr, 2024, oil on linen, cast iron powder, 27 x 25 cm








373 gr, 2024, oil on linen, cast iron powder, 25 x 17 cm








565 gr, 2024, oil on linen, cast iron powder, 24 x 17 cm















To Zhu Jun, 2024, oil on linen, 55 x 45 cm















Untitled (Screen B),(back), 2024, digital print on cotton twill, 250 x 250 cm (*3)








Untitled (Screen B),(detail), 2024, digital print on cotton twill, 250 x 250 cm (*3)















untitled, 2024, oil on linen, 60 x 73 cm








Layered Hills send off Glimmering Light, 2024, oil on linen, mirror, chains, 40 x 180 x 90 cm















*Exhibition documentation courtesy of the artist