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AS IS | Gao Xintong


From Liaoning, China

Based in Carrara, Italy.

Greatly inspired by Chinese shanshui landscape painting and his spiritual experience of living in the gap between Chinese and Western cultures Gao Xintong expresses his vision in motion interplay making us wonder what's hiding behind the vibrant rhythms

A: Please, tell us a bit more about yourself. What brought you into art?

G: I was born in 1998 in the rural city of Liaoning, China. In 2016, I went to the Academy of Fine Art of Carrara in Italy to study, now I still live in Carrara. Actually, in my family, there is nobody else who works as an artist. My mother told to me that when I was young, when I saw someone painting or just putting color on some walls, I was fascinated by this straight away. Up until now, I’m still fascinated by the work of drawing zebra crossing every time I cross the street. Because of my interest in painting, I started to formally study with a master of shanshui painting (traditional Chinese landscape painting) when I was 7 years old, and then I came to Italy to continue my painting studies when I was 18 years old. These two experiences have had a huge impact on my artistic creation today.

A: What inspires you the most?

G: My inspiration comes from Chinese shanshui landscape painting and my spiritual experience of living in the gap between Chinese and Western cultures.

A: Do you have any specific rituals while working (creating)?

G: Usually, I develop several different styles of work rather than sticking to only one style. Sometimes I start painting different works at the same time and adjust the relationship between those works in the process, which is more like a collective work mode. Sometimes I work on a piece with all my energy in one day, which usually puts more energy into a piece. When I'm working, I choose an album to play on a loop. For example, I've listened to Obscured By Clouds (1972, Pink Floyd) many times today.

A: What would you recommend to someone new to art (an artist or just an admirer), what to begin with?

G: With regard to the art world in general, I believe I’m still too young to give a recommendation. But for the viewer of art, I would say that visual art is understood the moment that the eye sees it. People say contemporary art is hard to understand, actually it is not.

A: Your top 3 adjectives related to art?

G: Gestural, spatiality, discontinuity.

A: The best angle to look at art is from ...?

G: The best angle is that you can walk vertically when viewed from a close distance, and you can have a panoramic view when viewed from a distance.

A: The perfect phrase to start any conversation about art is: ...?

G: Visual perception

A: Must-read books to help us talk about art (or do we even need them)?

G: I think that reading books can help us a lot when we discuss the cultural significance of art. But for visual perception, I believe that even a child can under- stand a lot, which is not necessarily something that can be expressed in words but also is not the mystery of visual art.

A: If you could change one thing in the art world - what would it be?

G: I would say “existing rules“

A: Please, share your favorite quote (not necessarily related to art).

G: "A work of art is always - even in the way it works - the result of

a complex play of cultural references.

As a general rule, our seeing is always mediated by what we know."

Luca Bertolo

"Painting is a word. And paintings are things. And things are what exist"

Walter Swennen

Thank you!

For more: visit or IG


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