Mary Corse, Liu Wei, Nari Ward
July 7 – August 27, 2016
Future Seasons Past
February 28 – April 18, 2015
536 West 22nd Street & 201 Chrystie Street, New York
Museum Exhibitions & Projects
What About Art? Contemporary Art from Chin...
March 14 – July 16, 2016
Museum Boijmans Van B...
Sensory Spaces 4: Liu Wei
June 14 – September 28, 2014
Liu Wei Christie's International Real Estate
June 29 2016
Art against the system The Korea Herald
June 8 2016
Liu Wei "Artist of the Year," 10th Award of Art China
May 20 2016
Liu Wei Opens New Exhibition at PLATEAU in Seoul ARTINFO
May 7 2016
Nocturnal Friendships HK Magazine
July 24 2015
Ocula A conversation with Liu Wei
April 1, 2015
Art in Asia
January - February 2015
The New York Times
December 11, 2013
Gallerist NY ‘I Wanted to Get Rid of Style’: Liu Wei on His Show at Lehmann Maupin
March 5, 2013
March 5, 2013
The New York Observer
June 11, 2012
Lehmann Maupin Gallery Now Representing Liu Wei
May 31, 2012
Essay by Gunnar B. Kvaran
Interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist
Essay by Guo Xiaoyan
August 31, 2011
August 7, 2011
Interview with Jerome Sans
December 31, 2008
Essay by Philip Tinari
August 31, 2004
Art against the system
The Korea Herald
Chinese artist Liu Wei has been at the center of controversy in the Chinese contemporary art world.
In 1999, he and fellow artists put up a radical exhibition that displayed a dead fetus on an ice bed, with human and animal parts hanging from the ceiling. Liu also presented a video installation showing naked people crawling on the floor like bugs.
The exhibition prompted the Chinese government to enforce a legal ban on "bloody, brutal displays and obscenity in art" a few years later.
The radical expression that made him the talk of the town in the Chinese contemporary art world are not seen in his current solo exhibition at Plateau, Samsung Museum of Art, in Seoul. Rather, the works that span the 17 years of his career are moderate in expression, but complex in thought.
Installations that consist of building debris and old textbooks that criticize the competitive urban development in China and other cities in Asia are being presented at Plateau.
"Borders and geographical boundaries have become meaningless. Whether it's Korea or China, I don't think there is much difference in people's criticism of reality," said Liu at last week's press preview of the exhibition.
Titled "Panorama," the show sheds light on the fast-changing landscapes in cities like Shanghai, Beijing and Seoul and the complexities of modern urban life. Liu presents large Gothic-style wooden installations that are assembled with wooden door frames, panels, metal pipes and other architectural detritus from an old Chinese hospital and government buildings.
'We grew up when things were constantly changing and nothing seemed stable. There was a turnaround in values every couple of years. Today you'd believe in one thing and tomorrow you'd believe in something completely different," he said.
Liu, who was born in 1972 as the Cultural Revolution was coming to an end, has been categorized as being part of a group of artists that are not as political as their politically-charged predecessors who experienced first-hand the pro-democracy protests and the subsequent Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989. However, they left a "profound influence" on his future art activities, as well as on his contemporaries, Liu said.
Although political implications don't show up explicitly in his works, resistance to the existing system has been an underlying theme in Liu's works.
For the 2004 Shanghai Biennale, Liu presented photographs that looked like old Chinese landscape paintings, which in fact, captured the naked buttocks of people. The photo series ''Looks Like a Landscape" was made in resistance to the biennale organizers, who had rejected Liu's earlier proposal of a large-scale installation that he had wanted to make with artists who had not been invited to participate in the biennale exhibition.
"It was a rebellion against the system. The butt was a replacement for swearing," said Liu.
Ironically, the photo series ''Looks Like a Landscape'' made Liu a star in the international art world. The work was sold to Swiss collector Uli Sigg, one of the most influential art collectors today with the largest collection of Chinese contemporary art. Since then, Liu has participated in numerous biennales around the world and has held solo exhibitions at major museums and galleries.
"Panorama" bids farewell to the 17-year-old Plateau museum, which is closing in August. The exhibition runs until Aug. 14. For more information, visit www.plat.eau.or.kr.