XUE MO Mongolian Paragon

Whenever I return to my homeland, a small town in Inner Mongolia, my heart is immediately taken by the inherent beauty to this land.

Art Exhibition previously on at Catherine Asquith Gallery (Archived) in Fitzroy-Collingwood precinct, Victoria, Australia.
From Tuesday 11 September 2012 to Saturday 29 September 2012

Mongolian Girl image Mongolian Girl II image Red image Tongtong image Portrait of Miss Naya image Sarula image I have a dream image Portrait of Miss Wulan image

Published by anonymous on Wednesday 05 September 2012.
Contact the publisher.

Walking along the boundless stretches of mountain grasslands, observing flocks of sheep traversing the undulating landscape, or by turn, small patches of dried grassland and the minutiae of nature – clear small pebbles, small white flowers – and, especially meeting and talking with the fieldworker’s, with their unadorned faces and plain, simple clothes, I experience a deep sense of serenity.

I am impressed with the magnificence of this landscape’s inhabitants, including the grazing sheep or cattle which notwithstanding their humble position in this land exude a confidence and dignity. I paint the miraculous and sacred Mongolian living in this magical land. And I ask myself, “What would be the essence under the unadorned face of this Mongolian, with plain clothes, inhabiting the plain streets, the simple houses and shops, of this small, grasslands town?

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. Can the Mongolian living in the grasslands, in my eye, have some likeness, some essence, with the Renaissance people in the masters’ works?

I hold dear the old Chinese saying that “nature has the same structure with man”. And my artistic philosophy is the same as Giorgio Morandi – that I believe more in art for art’s sake than in religion, social justice or national glory.


Well documented in the Australian press, Xue’s 2009 exhibition was highly praised by The Age’s critic, Robert Nelson. As he noted: “Serene and deliberate, the sitters in the portraits of Xue Mo have monumental presence that is also strange and unnerving. The works are technically brilliant and imitate the Renaissance portrait, with mysterious desert landscapes echoing the ambiguities of the smile”. (Robert Nelson, “The Age”, 18 November 2009)

Xue’s paintings evoke a timeless elegance, a return to ‘pure’ painting, and by turn, a contemporary interpretation of formalism. Whilst lending themselves to a meditative contemplation that transcends age and culture, these paintings remain of universal appeal.

A practising artist since 1998, Xue Mo has had exhibitions in Hong Kong, Singapore, Vancouver, Cape Cod, Baltimore, Los Angeles and New York. Recently she was presented at Art London (2012). Xue has been represented by Catherine Asquith Gallery, exclusively in Australia, since 2000.