Liu Wei: Colors is a spotlight on one of the most important artists working in China today. Refusing the standard model of the mid-career survey, Liu Wei (b. 1972, Beijing) shows an entirely new body of works, in various media and materials that span the full range of his broad practice.
Liu Wei‘s art draws on a wide range of formal references, including urban planning, commodity culture, fashion, architecture, technology, and biology.
In many places inside the exhibition, the artists strips down the familiar and reassembles its incongruous parts in ways uncanny and abstract. His adaptations of readymade objects—sheet metal siding reconfigured into geometric patterns as in Crucifixion, oxhide dog chews mended into an iconic tower as in Love It, Bite It No. 3, mirrored surfaces assembled into an installation evoking an urban cluster as in Puzzle—pursue purely aesthetic propositions even as they reveal the slightest traces of their industrial origins.
In these as in many other works across a wide range of mediums, the exhibition highlights a specific trend in the artist’s recent practice—the stripping away of direct referents and baroque architectural elements, reducing his artworks to an almost radical formal purity unprecedented in his career.
Paintings, sculptures, and architectural-scale installations are presented in UCCA‘s Great Hall, organized spatially into an immersive environment that simultaneously contains and is physically structured by these diverse works. The exhibition marks a turning point, reducing Liu Wei’s formal language to its most direct and expanding it into a presentation both focused and sprawling.
- Puzzle, Installation view 2014, Photo: Dora Tang. Photo Courtesy Ullens Center for Contemporary Art
- Enigma, Installation view 2014, Photo: Dora Tang. Photo Courtesy Ullens Center for Contemporary Art
- Crucifixion, Installation view 2014, Photo: Dora Tang. Photo Courtesy Ullens Center for Contemporary Art
- Look books! Installation view 2014, Photo: Dora Tang. Photo Courtesy Ullens Center for Contemporary Art