oil on hessian
211 x 180 cm
The protagonist in Du Xia’s bleak paintings is a kind of proletarian Everyman – perhaps the artist himself, who says that he was a ‘worker’ for some years before entering the art academy. In harshly lit, barren interiors featuring exposed plumbing, bare lightbulbs and airconditioning vents they grimace as if in the grip of physical pain or mental anguish. The ‘stubble’ on their faces resembles nails driven into the skin rather than facial hair, an external sign of his internal struggle. Is he filled with rage, or with despair?