The “Mother and Son” concept is derived from Qiu’s childhood experiences of growing up in an era of famine during the Cultural Revolution. There was social instability and limited resources. His mother was a typical hardworking traditional Chinese housewife whose primary concern was for the family. His father was the sole breadwinner, earned a meagre income as a general service staff for a hotel. Life was hard but carefree and happy.
In case you were wondering, the woman in Qiu’s paintings is his wife, also his muse.
The baldness is inspired from his excursion to Mount Wutai in Shanxi, a sacred Buddhist location related to Manjusri – a representational figure of wisdom. Whilst there, Qiu visited a famous nun named Tongyuan, who gave up everything to be a Buddhist nun. Her father was the chairman of Liaoning Province in 1920s. Tongyuan studied economics at the Women’s Liberal Arts faculty at Peking University. The baldness is also inspired by Irish singer Sinead O’ Connor, recognized by her shaved head and mesmerizing video performances.
Qiu was also exposed to religion-related art. China has a long history with Buddhism. If politics is the need for social order and art the need for spirituality, then religion would be the need for a human soul. Adding religious elements into art makes a work’s meaning more profound.
The objective of his collection was to remind his audience that as we progress in society with technological advances, the value of humanity lies in love – earnest and unconditional like maternal love. His works encompass the fusion of Eastern and Western elements, suggesting the look, attitude and role of a modern woman.
Qiu’s are collected by corporations and art organizations internationally, such as Siemens, Deutsche Bank, Philips, French Art Academy, H&M, IBM Corporation, Van Shung Cheung Holdings, Liu Haisu Art Museum, the White House of The United States and some politicians including President Obama and former Prime Minister Schroder.