Cang Xin was born in 1967 in Inner Mongolia, China and is of Man nationality. He studied music, art and philosophy in Tianjin Academy of Music, Nankai University and Tianjing Academy of Fine Arts between 1986 and 1989. He has been painting since 1991 and began working as a professional artist in the East Village in Beijing in 1993.
Cang Xin gained his reputation initially from his performance art. His early work was concerned with the constraints and anxieties of real life, from this period includes To add one metre to an anonymous mountain and Communication. In 2002, he explored animist beliefs about the relationship between humans and nature includes Exotic Flowers and Herbs series. In recent years, Cang Xin’s art and philosophical language has been strongly influenced by his interest in the origin of life and the universe. To quote Cang Xin - “Art, philosophy and religion are three basic components for human spiritual life and the meaning of our existence.”
Something from Nothing is an exhibition of Cang Xin’s small size artworks from the last three years. These paintings are his explorations of how to represent the history of human belief systems. He does this by adding his own perceptions and narratives to some iconic images from Western religious art. His sculptures are made of crystal resin and aluminium, representing “spirit particles” and Shamanism respectively. The 3D video work conveys his understanding of the ancient Shamanist traditions.
Shamanism believes there is a blurred distinctions and interchangeability between inanimate objects and living things. Hence the title of this exhibition - Something from Nothing.