Liu Xiaodong, A Bunch of Pork at River (detail) (2003). Oil on canvas. 97 × 76.5 cm. Courtesy Yallay Gallery, Hong Kong.
Can Contemporary Chinese art be revived as a tool for social critique? Returning to the traditional medium of painting, Liu Xiaodong, whose solo exhibition '25 Oil Paintings: 1993-2007' was up at Yallay Gallery in Hong Kong in March, makes a renewed case for this question, departing from the legacy of socialist realism that has occupied the medium for several decades, to explore instead intimate and fleeting glances into the country's ever-changing social landscape.