Shanghai artist rises from the ashes after huge blaze strikes his studio

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 May, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 May, 2010, 12:00am

Sometimes a setback is truly a blessing in disguise. Just ask Shanghai-based artist Xue Song. A huge fire in the winter of 1990 destroyed almost everything in his studio but it also inspired him to create the collage paintings that have become his calling card.

'I picked up bits and pieces from the burned-down site and combined them in a new work. It wasn't until then that I realised I found the art form that suited me most,' said the 46-year-old artist, whose works have been showcased in London, Chicago and Tokyo.

Xue was in town to unveil the fruits of his collaboration with Italian fashion house Salvatore Ferragamo - a collection of T-shirts, handbags and leather goods featuring his collage painting of two colourful tigers.

'I chose tigers because it's the Year of the Tiger and also because Ferragamo uses animal motifs in their designs. It's something we have in common,' said Xue at the launch event on Tuesday at the Ferragamo boutique in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Xue is no devotee of designer labels but his wife is delighted about the collaboration.

'I only bought a pair of shoes but my wife is certainly indulging herself,' he said, pointing to his spouse who turned up dressed from head to toe in designer gear.