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Beatriz González at KW Institute for Contemporary Art: In Focus Ocula Report Beatriz González at KW Institute for Contemporary Art: In Focus 14 Dec 2018 : Pia Chakraverti-Wuerthwein for Ocula

Retrospective 1965–2017, Beatriz González's exhibition at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin (13 October 2018–6 January 2019), presents a selection of 120 works that bear witness to Colombia's political and social upheavals of the last 50 years. Throughout, the link between González's practice and the sociopolitical context it references...

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Ingrid Schaffner Ocula Conversation Ingrid Schaffner Curator, 57th Carnegie International

Founded by industrialist Andrew Carnegie as part of the Carnegie Institute in 1895, Carnegie Museum sought to 'bring the world' to the city with a grand building housing a natural history museum, a library, and an art museum operating as a fluid space for knowledge exchange. In its 123-year history, the institution has built up a world-class...

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Extra States: Nations in Liquidation at Kunsthal Extra City Ocula Report Extra States: Nations in Liquidation at Kunsthal Extra City 8 Dec 2018 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

The nation-state—a nation (a people) presided over by a governing body with jurisdiction over a defined territory (the state)—is either going through a renaissance or demise, depending on one's perspective. There has been talk about the nation-state's end for years—from a 2013 United States National Intelligence Council report...

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Liu Wei

b. 1965, China

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.

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
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Featured Artworks

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Portrait–Male by Liu Wei contemporary artwork Liu WeiPortrait–Male, 2011 Oil on canvas with frame
128.3 x 108.5 cm
Lin & Lin Gallery
Exotic Lands No. 19 by Liu Wei contemporary artwork Liu WeiExotic Lands No. 19, 2013 Doors, wood, and stainless steel
199 x 200 x 4 cm
Lehmann Maupin
Exotic Lands No. 15 by Liu Wei contemporary artwork Liu WeiExotic Lands No. 15, 2013 Doors, wood, and stainless steel
138 x 270 x 4 cm
Lehmann Maupin
Library V-II by Liu Wei contemporary artwork Liu WeiLibrary V-II, 2015-2018 Books, wood, and iron
82.68 x 86.61 x 74.8 inches
Lehmann Maupin
180 Faces by Liu Wei contemporary artwork Liu Wei180 Faces, 2017–2018 Ten framed paintings
Sean Kelly
180 Faces by Liu Wei contemporary artwork Liu Wei180 Faces, 2017–2018 Ten framed paintings
Sean Kelly
Bird 鸟 by Liu Wei contemporary artwork Liu WeiBird 鸟, 2015 Ink on paper
40 x 140 cm
Aye Gallery
Ag No. 13 by Liu Wei contemporary artwork Liu WeiAg No. 13, 2017 oil on canvas
70.87 x 70.87 inches
Lehmann Maupin

Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Gridology at Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong
Closed
12 July–24 August 2018 Group Exhibition Gridology Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong
Contemporary art exhibition, Liu Wei, 180 Faces at Sean Kelly, New York
Closed
5 May–16 June 2018 Liu Wei 180 Faces Sean Kelly, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Liu Wei, Solo Exhibition at Lehmann Maupin, New York
Closed
2 November–17 December 2016 Liu Wei Solo Exhibition Lehmann Maupin, 536 West 22nd Street

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

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Local to Global: Gallery Weekend Beijing 2018 Ocula Report Local to Global: Gallery Weekend Beijing 2018 13 Apr 2018 : Bowen Li for Ocula

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 16 Mar 2018 : Bowen Li for Ocula

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 at...

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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 1 Nov 2016 : Sam Gaskin for Ocula

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 the...

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Dr Uli Sigg Ocula Conversation Dr Uli Sigg Collector

When Sydney art dealer Ray Hughes visited Swiss collector Uli Sigg at his Mauensee residence near Lucerne some years ago, a mutual friend asked the dealer how the visit went. ‘Did you feel comfortable and find a place to kick your feet up and read?’ ‘No, to both,’ answered Hughes, ‘it seems there was only art...

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In Related Press

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

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 Art Agenda : 17 January 2017

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 entire...

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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 ARTNews : 30 November 2016

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 art agenda : 17 November 2016

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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