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Interview with Painter Xue Mo

She paints the magnificence of the inhabitants of Inner Mongolia.

Xue Mo is a contemporary painter born in Inner Mongolia. She studied at Ximon Normal School, Art Department, and got her Bachelor on Fine Arts, from Meitan Normal College. Xue Mo is internationally acclaimed for her subjects that represent female beauty. Her portraits are described as “Chinese Renaissance”, or “Medici alike portraiture”. Her artworks and early portraiture deeply affected by culture, tradition, and the structure of nature, exploring the human figure in a relationship with history and land. Her artworks were featured in several exhibitions at key galleries and museums all around the world, just to mention Australia, Singapore, the United States, Hong Kong, etc … She lives and works in Beijing, China.

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Xue Mo painter mongolia
Xue Mo

How and when did you get into painting? How did you discover your painting vocation?

On a break between my college graduation, and before starting training as a teacher, I took a holiday back in my hometown in Inner Mongolia and painted a few of my portrait pieces. I found great enjoyment in being a self-employed artist. This was in 1996, the year I started my artistic career.

Who influenced you as a person and as an artist?

My father, a Chinese doctor, is a huge inspiration to me. His many boxes with different plants and herbs have always fascinated me. He is also a real nature lover.

Xue Mo’s artwork highlights the inherent beauty of the women from her homeland

Xue Mo painter mongolia
Mongolian Girl Series No.21, oil on linen, 69.5 x 59.5 cm, 2012, Karin Weber Gallery

Is there an art movement from the past or an artist that you love in particular?

Italian Renaissance. I love their enthusiasm for detail while staying close to basic structures.

Where did you study and develop your skills?

I was lucky to have a private art teacher. My father invited a local painter to teach me and my twin sister when we were 10 years old. The teacher later established and ran a local art school.

Xue focuses on women’s beauty. Her subjects’ identity evokes a spiritual serene atmosphere, inner meditation, and balanced tranquility

Xue Mo painter mongolia
Mongolian Girl Series No.23., oil on linen, 72.5 x 61.5 cm, 2013, Karin Weber Gallery

What does painting mean to you? What do you love most about it?

Painting is my life. It is the only way for me to offer my best to other people.

How long does it take to make one of your paintings?

Normally a good work takes two to four weeks, but time is not the most important factor. You need to be in a good state of mind, which may take a few months, even a few years to reach. Good art is much more expensive than its price tag.

Xue Mo’s paintings evoke a timeless elegance and her subjects are impressing for their noble simplicity

Xue Mo painter mongolia
Mongolian Girl Series No.33, oil on linen, 50 x 40 cm, 2018, Karin Weber Gallery

The subjects of your portraits carry a balance between natural beauty and magnificence, simplicity and regality. Is this one of the messages you would like to be perceived?

My portrait work is actually about myself. Portraits capture my feeling about the beauty of my subject, no matter who the model is. This is about the beauty that is seen by me and felt by me.

Are there any of your portraits related to a significant moment in your life or dedicated to someone which you feel particularly connected toCan you share with us the story?

Mongolian people, especially Mongolian girls have a special inner, powerful beauty for me. Maybe because I was born there, and experienced harsh conditions growing up, I can relate to them.

When I visit countries abroad and in particular, their museums and galleries, and, from reading many art books, I am continually drawn to the works of the early Renaissance; masters such as Piero della Francesca, Paolo Uccello, Hieronymus Bosch, Bruegel the Elder and Pisanello. I am deeply moved by these artists’ intentions and creative spirit, as much as my admiration for the Mongolian and the grasslands.” – Xue Mo

Xue Mo painter mongolia
Mongolian Girl, oil on linen, 75.5 x 66cm, 2012, Karin Weber Gallery

What does it mean to be a paintress today in the age of social networks?

My art has no direct connection with social networks or a social situation. It only connects with the human body and life itself. This is the only source of my art. Life +Sex +Body +Beauty=Art.

She paints the magnificence of the inhabitants of Inner Mongolia, with simple but precious clothes, living in a beautiful grassland in harmony and serenity with nature.

Xue Mo painter mongolia
Mongolian Girl Series No.44 Xue Mo oil on linen 70 x 56cm 2018, Karin Weber Gallery

Xue Mo’s artwork highlights the inherent beauty of the women from her homeland.

Photos courtesy of Xue Mo and Karin Weber Gallery
A Special thanks to Stephanie Braun

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