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云上岭南 Lingnan on the Cloud
Xu Hongfei's 'Chubby Women' embark on a journey to South Africa, spreading joy worldwide
来源:羊城晚报 云上岭南 作者:邓勃 发表时间:2024-01-10 23:31

The recently concluded 2023 marked the 10th anniversary of Xu Hongfei's global sculpture tour. Over the past decade, he traveled across five continents, visited more than 20 countries, and held 55 solo exhibitions. Through the artistic symbol of"chubby women," Xu Hongfei conveyed Chinese joy and confidence to the world.

At the end of 2023, a reporter from Yangcheng Evening News joined Xu Hongfei's "chubby women" on a three-stop tour in the rainbow nation of South Africa.

After the opening of the third exhibition at the iconic City Hall Square in Durban, the South African sun suddenly intensified its brilliance. The brisk wind, however, momentarily froze in its motion.

Two South African women, filled with excitement, animatedly conversed in their incredibly soft language. They chatted and laughed, finding amusement in the posture of the "chubby women."

The entire scene became even more intriguing, arguably adding a certain unique spiritual charm.

Art has the power to elevate the soul and ignite our passions.

Hosting outdoor activities in Africa inevitably involves the inclusion of wild and primal African dances.

Performers adorned their faces and bodies with vibrant patterns, encircling the "chubby women" as they beat drums, swayed hips, and danced energetically, embodying a raw, exuberant spirit.

Guests, spectators, and the "chubby women" immersed themselves in the sunlight. The City Hall Square resembled a festive celebration with heightened emotions, and laughter echoed throughout.

If happiness can indeed change the world, then Xu Hongfei is undeniably a catalyst, ensuring the continuation of joy.

His "chubby women" may not be a singular presence in the history of sculpture, but they are undoubtedly a poetic ode to happiness.

Curious people surrounded a"Charlie Chaplin"-esque master of humor, witnessing a world-class silent“comedy” performance where the"chubby women" took center stage.

Excited South Africans shouted with enthusiasm, "Xu Hongfei! 'Chubby Women'!" They boisterously cheered in Mandarin, just recently learned, creating a thunderous applause echoing throughout the square.

Xu Hongfei found himself engulfed, unable to move freely as the flashlights blinded him. Faced with various questions, he pondered whether to respond in Cantonese or Mandarin to this group of fans in a foreign land.

Such scenes are replicated across the 29 countries Xu Hongfei toured. On the international stage, Xu Hongfei's "chubby women" have not only mesmerized countless audiences but also resonated deeply with artists from diverse ethnic backgrounds.

Indeed, spanning from 2013 to the present, over the course of a decade, Xu Hongfei's sculpture world tour has encompassed more than 50 exhibitions in countries and regions like China, Australia, Italy, Germany, Turkey, France, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the United States, Austria, Peru, Colombia, Greece, Spain, Cuba, South Africa, and more. The "chubby women" have left their enchanting and vibrant presence in international cultural and artistic landmarks such as the Louvre in Paris, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the Forbidden City in Beijing, the National Art Museum of China, as well as iconic public spaces like London's City Hall Square, Istanbul's Bosphorus Square, and Berlin's Potsdamer Platz.

"Art knows no borders!" Xu Hongfei embodies this phrase vividly. Yes, the "chubby women" are simply that – no need for annotations, not even the title; just the three characters "Xu Hongfei" are enough. The "chubby women" serve as both the subject and the title, akin to Xu Hongfei's "Mona Lisa."

Following three exhibitions in South Africa's major cities – Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban – Xu Hongfei's "chubby women" have resonated even more deeply. The aesthetic enjoyment of his artworks spreads seamlessly from one city to another, extending beyond individual cities and even permeating throughout South Africa. The "chubby women" have touched the hearts of South Africans, and laughter echoes across the entire Southern HemispHere.

The overseas Chinese community in South Africa, upon hearing the news, flocked from all directions to pay tribute to Xu Hongfei, congratulating him on the tremendous success of his exhibition that brought pride to the Chinese people.

The "chubby women" exhibition can be described as a series of performance art, a whimsical journey with dozens of tons of “chubby women” traveling seamlessly, portraying a modern international rendition of"traveling the world."

Local media, filled with awe and admiration, eagerly covered the events extensively.

Xu Hongfei has ignited an aesthetic storm of "chubby women" art in South Africa, truly leaving people in disbelief!

Two years ago, during the exhibition in Cuba, I wrote an article comparing Xu Hongfei to the rugged hero depicted by Hemingway – Santiago: steadfast and never yielding. Over the last decade, Xu Hongfei has spread joy worldwide with his "chubby women." From this perspective, He surpasses Santiago. Happiness is the highest pursuit of humanity, and on the path of creating the art of the "chubby women," Xu Hongfei says his rhythm can only become more intense.

When beauty journeys alongside dreams, magical moments always unfold. Wherever Xu Hongfei's works are displayed, they tend to captivate and enchant viewers, showcasing the boundless charm of "Xu Hongfei's Art."

"My world tour will continue," Xu Hongfei declared. "Through my exhibitions and artworks, I aim to let the world know that this artist is Chinese, hailing from Guangdong. In the past, we could easily name many European artists. However, if you ask Europeans to name Chinese artists, they know very few. The reason is that we lack individual value output. When I started exhibiting in Europe, people often questioned the artist's origin. Once I mentioned China, many found it hard to believe, thinking that Chinese art is more serious. They are unaware that contemporary Chinese people are happier, more humorous, confident, and have a greater sense of happiness than them. My works precisely reflect the joyful and confident artistic connotations and the beautiful reality of life for modern Chinese people."

This year, Xu Hongfei's "chubby women" world tour will extend to Ghana and Egypt.





























文、图|记者 邓勃 通讯员 陈永福
海报设计|记者 邓勃