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Taloi Havini: Reclaiming Space and History Ocula Conversation
In Partnership with Artspace Sydney
Taloi Havini: Reclaiming Space and History By Ruth McDougall, Sydney

Artist Taloi Havini and Ruth McDougall, curator of Pacific art at Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, discuss Havini's first Australian solo exhibition, Reclamation .

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Sydney Biennale Connects Here with Everywhere Latest Ocula Report Sydney Biennale Connects Here with Everywhere By Soo-Min Shim, Sydney

'This year's Biennale of Sydney seems like a corrective,' writes Soo-Min Shim, 'prioritising autonomy in an international exhibition format that has all too often omitted or sidelined First Nations artists.'

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Hell is a Place on Earth: P·P·O·W Looks to History in Context of Covid-19 Ocula Insight Hell is a Place on Earth: P·P·O·W Looks to History in Context of Covid-19 By Stephanie Bailey, London

In the United States, parallels have been drawn between the HIV/AIDS crisis and what is unfolding with Covid-19. These connections feed into P·P·O·W's online exhibition, Hell is a Place on Earth. Heaven is a Place in Your Head .

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HomePage Artists

b. 1972, China

Liu Wei Biography

In the multidisciplinary works of Liu Wei, dog toys, books and industrial doors are just a few of his inspirations. His refusal to commit to a specific medium has led him to work in a range of media, including painting, sculpture, photography, performance, video and installation. Through his inventive repurposing of everyday objects, Liu distorts our perception of the environment in an attempt to illustrate the impact of urbanisation on modern cities.

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Coming of age in the 1990s—a time of rapid urbanisation and ideological instability in China—the transformative power of modernisation has been a long-term interest of Liu's. Rather than focusing on Chinese culture and contemporary life, however, Liu's works often address the effect of urbanisation on a universal level, incorporating objects common to various modern cities. Exotic Lands No. 21 (2013), for example, is comprised of industrial doors and highlights their commercial elements. The abstract, geometric forms in Look! Books (2014) are made of books, while he famously used dog chew toys to construct buildings in Super Structure (2005–2007) and Love It! Bite It! (2005).

Liu's concern with the manipulation of the perception of an environment is especially apparent in Enigma and Puzzle, both completed in 2014. Enigma, shown at his mid-career survey at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2015), features resin blocks that obstructed the survey entrance. Compelling the viewer to negotiate their way into the main floor of the exhibition, the monumental blocks metaphorically represented the Eastern region's ever-growing cities. In Puzzle, mirrors of various sizes and irregular geometric shapes overlap one another. Positioned at various angles, the mirrors offer fractured views of the viewer and the gallery architecture. By disturbing an encompassing view of the gallery, Liu suggested that an all-encompassing view of this world is similarly an illusion.

In a conversation with Ocula Magazine in 2015, when asked if titles such as 'Puzzle' and 'Enigma' evaded the viewer's comprehension, Liu explained that the titles were directed at the artist himself, noting, 'It is not that I am not interested in discussions or revealing meanings, it is just that I am with the viewers, in the quest for meaning'. This statement correlates with his non-partisan attitude toward his works; the works state current conditions of the world but do not return a verdict. For Liu, art functions to generate discussions, wherein both the artist and the viewer may freely shape their own understandings of the world.

Since graduating from the National Academy of Fine Arts, Hangzhou, in 1996, Liu has exhibited internationally in China, Qatar, South Korea, Europe and the USA. He is familiar with international biennials, having exhibited in Shanghai Biennale (2016, 2010, 2004), La Biennale de Lyon (2015, 2007), Gwangju Biennale (2010), Guangzhou Triennial (2012, 2008, 2005, 2002), and Venice Biennale (2005). In 2015, he also co-curated Nocturnal Friendships for Lehmann Maupin Hong Kong, which featured the works of seven young Chinese artists. Liu currently lives and works in Beijing.

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2017

Liu Wei Featured Artworks

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Library V-V by Liu Wei contemporary artwork
Liu WeiLibrary V-V, 2017–2018Iron, steel, wood, and books
200 x 120 x 120 cm
Lehmann Maupin Enquire about this work
Untitled by Liu Wei contemporary artwork
Liu WeiUntitled, 2019Acrylic on wood
244 x 122 cm
Lehmann Maupin Enquire about this work
Transparent Land by Liu Wei contemporary artwork
Liu WeiTransparent Land, 2016Aluminum, oil paint, oxhide, metal, mirror, canvas, and foam
Lehmann Maupin Enquire about this work
Center of the Earth by Liu Wei contemporary artwork
Liu WeiCenter of the Earth, 2016Site specific installation plexiglas and MDF
96 x 558.27 x 235.83 inches
Lehmann Maupin Enquire about this work
Purple Air 2014 No.3 by Liu Wei contemporary artwork
Liu WeiPurple Air 2014 No.3, 2014Oil on canvas
Variable dimensions
UCCA Center for Contemporary Art Enquire about this work
Purple Air 2014 No.3 by Liu Wei contemporary artwork
Liu WeiPurple Air 2014 No.3, 2014Oil on canvas
Variable dimensions
UCCA Center for Contemporary Art Enquire about this work
Puzzle by Liu Wei contemporary artwork
Liu WeiPuzzle, 2014Glass, aluminium alloy
Variable dimensions
UCCA Center for Contemporary Art Enquire about this work
Puzzle by Liu Wei contemporary artwork
Liu WeiPuzzle, 2014Glass, aluminium alloy
Variable dimensions
UCCA Center for Contemporary Art Enquire about this work

Liu Wei Represented By

Liu Wei In Ocula Magazine

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Liu Wei at the 58th Venice Biennale Ocula Insight Liu Wei at the 58th Venice Biennale By Sherry Paik

In this IGTV video for Ocula (@ocula.art), Rachel Lehmann, co-founder of Lehmann Maupin, provides viewers with a tour of Liu's two sculptural installations on show in Venice, Microworld (2018) and devourment (2019), and discusses some of the ideas that underpin the works. Chinese artist Liu Wei is showing two works in the 58th International...

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Local to Global: Gallery Weekend Beijing 2018 Ocula Report Local to Global: Gallery Weekend Beijing 2018 By Bowen Li, Beijing

Gallery Weekend Beijing was first staged in 2017 on a number of premises, including the fact that Beijing needed an annual event with international appeal to maintain its place as an art destination after the rise of successful art fairs, and an increasing number of museums, in other regional cities like Shanghai and Hong Kong . As its title...

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The Lowdown: shows to see during Gallery Weekend Beijing Ocula Report The Lowdown: shows to see during Gallery Weekend Beijing By Bowen Li, Beijing

To coincide with the second edition of Gallery Weekend Beijing , taking place between 23 and 30 March 2018, various institutions have brought out the big guns, including a list of international artists from Sarah Morris to Paul McCarthy . Galleries are also gearing up for the weekend, from Liu Wei showing at Long March Space, to Richard Deacon...

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One belt, one road, one  biennale: Yinchuan's stand against cultural desertification Ocula Report One belt, one road, one biennale: Yinchuan's stand against cultural desertification By Sam Gaskin, Yinchuan

Over 70 artists from 33 countries are represented in the inaugural Yinchuan Biennale, which opened amidst scandal on 9 September 2016. Not included is a work by Ai Weiwei , who was invited to take part alongside other art stars Yoko Ono and Anish Kapoor before being disinvited just weeks before the opening. In a tweet, Ai connects...

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Liu Wei In Related Press

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Three Decades Distilled into 180 Portraits Related Press Three Decades Distilled into 180 Portraits 1 June 2018, Hyperallergic

Liu Wei is a towering figure in Chinese contemporary art, a leader among the first wave of Chinese artists to have their work recognized in the west. Emerging in the early 1990s with the Cynical Realism movement, Liu Wei responded to the dashed hopes and malaise of a generation impacted by the Tiananmen Square massacre by creating sarcastic...

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'Forming in the pupil of an eye,' Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016 Related Press 'Forming in the pupil of an eye,' Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016 17 January 2017, Art Agenda

Guest curated by artist Sudarshan Shetty, the third edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB), titled Forming in the pupil of an eye , is an assembly of artist-created realities. Shetty outlines his curatorial concept with the story of a young traveler who went on a long journey to meet a sage. When he reaches her, 'the Sage assimilates the...

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NO EXIT: TWO VENUES, TWO VISIONS - LIU WEI TRAPS VIEWERS IS HIS EXISTENTIALIST WORLD Related Press NO EXIT: TWO VENUES, TWO VISIONS - LIU WEI TRAPS VIEWERS IS HIS EXISTENTIALIST WORLD 30 November 2016, ARTNews

Beijing artist Liu Wei is a key player in the rise of abstract art in China, creating installations, paintings, and mixed-media works that have often been interpreted as references to the urban landscape of his home country. In this current two-venue show at Lehmann Maupin in New York, he is addressing not urbanization or globalization per se, but...

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'Why Not Ask Again' 11th Shanghai Biennale Related Press 'Why Not Ask Again' 11th Shanghai Biennale 17 November 2016, art agenda

At the 11th Shanghai Biennale, it isn’t possible to take a photograph without capturing people; the vast Power Station of Art—an electric plant turned kunsthalle since 2012—is busy throughout the preview day and public opening. The curators, Raqs Media Collective, have titled this edition of the biennale Why Not Ask Again:...

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