Liu Xiaodong is considered one of China’s most influential painters of the last two decades. He is one of the leading figurative painters of the “New Generation” of contemporary Chinese Realism of the ’90s and one of China’s foremost artists.
This exhibition focuses on a unique selection of some of his most important recent projects dealing with major global sociological, cultural, economic, ecological and environmental issues from the past ten years; presenting the journey of a voyageur moving through the images of the various worlds and situations he has witnessed, in locations worldwide from China and Asia to Cuba, Europe and Israel.
Liu Xiaodong is a painter of everyday life. His images are of family and friends set against modest scenery capturing ordinary moments, such as eating, laughing or playing games. However, in-depth exploration of what is hidden behind the small stories that populate the surface of his work reveals a much bigger picture. Xiaodong’s paintings are pointing with simple gestures to the reality of the periphery, the margins and the paradoxes of our contemporary society.
Painting as Shooting
Liu Xiaodong approaches his work with the eyes and the storyboard practice of a filmmaker. Each of the artist’s major works begins with a simple idea from one of his daily diary entries, describing the events he has witnessed, photos he has taken or people he has met, and then transforms them into live characters on his canvas. In a way the artist’s paintings resemble a production set where he acts as a director who collaborates with actors to play, record or recreate a situation, various impressions or the effects thereof. It is hereby that Liu Xioadong embodies the concept of “painting as shooting.”