Author: LIU WEI 刘韡
Signed and dated: Painted in 2007
Final Price: RMB 2,000,000
signed in Chinese and pinyin, dated 2007
As one of the most high-profile Mesozoic artists, Liu Wei was involved in contemporary art practice as a core member of "post-sensitivity" in the 1990s. The unique transformation process of Chinese society in the new century, namely the changes in the city and the humanistic landscape, has a particularly prominent influence on his creation. Based on experimental art, Liu Wei’s works span different fields and media, seeking truth through disrupting existing order and concepts. His style is sometimes ironic, sometimes ambiguous, and playful. The materials he uses are often unexpected, and matching the ingenious layout, they not only create a visual shock, but also make people reflect on the process of urbanization and the many social and political issues that stems from it. Liu Wei once said: "What I am most interested in is how art can find its way to real life, and on what level, and to what extent---I don’t want to make it a political event, a protest or a demonstration. On the contrary, it is a very simple proposition, that is, how can art be truly integrated into real life."
"City" has always been an important context for Liu Wei’s creation, and has always been regarded by him as the blueprint for human survival, and architecture is the settlement in it. For this reason, Liu Wei tries to capture the urban space from memory in his creation by using computers to make images and enlarging and arranging the pixels produced in them into orderly lines. He applies them to concrete pictures. Liu Wei’s works have both concrete real expressions and abstract rational emotions, making the image itself challenge the traditional way of viewing; at the same time, his works explore the relationship between the public sphere and art through the use of urban structure, and reflect on the cognitive interaction between the urban environment and individual emotions.
His work "The Outcast - 4", created in 2008, is exactly the digitalized abstraction of contemporary urban life. The special feature of this work is that its geometrical figures such as colors and lines are regrouped into abstract visual symbols that vividly reveal the prosperity of the city and the living environment problems caused by it. The highly symmetrical composition and the lines and color blocks inserted by the painter reflect the changing rhythm of the 21st century city. This work not only fully demonstrates Liu Wei’s view that "The abstract is more real than the concrete", but to a certain extent has something in common with Roger Frye’s emphasis on the emotional weight of abstract art in Western formalist aesthetics., and Clive Bell’s value judgment of "significant form" . Therefore, in general, although Liu Wei’s paintings are abstract, they are a perceptive, meaningful abstraction, rather than a manifestation of pure formalism.
The vertical lines, visual interference and cold cut presented in "The Outcast - 4"are essentially Liu Wei’s attempt to question and reflect on the social reality through peculiar visual discourse and to elaborate individual experience of his generation amid the process of urbanization.It can be said that this brand-new way of visual composition and rational and disruptive thinking has undoubtedly enabled various possibilities of deep appeal in the creation of works of art.
At the same time, Liu Wei also uses many of his works to explore the socio-political concepts derived from the central concerns of contemporary society after the millennium, as well as the variation of evolving cities and landscapes."The Outcas t- 4" is a rare case that combines intertwined themes and material techniques. In this work, the artist contracts nature with urbanization. The former takes the form of a wave, while the latter resembles a row of bright street lights in the night view of Beijing. Liu Wei successfully juxtaposed the two elements and presented a mirror of contradictions in a faithful way, mirroring the strong tension and conflict between the city and nature in the process of economic and social development.
Liu Wei “presets” an image background and empirical basis similar to the urban landscape in almost every piece of his work, and then uses computer software to decompose, reorganize and describe the form. In particular, the color of the picture should be mentioned. However, it is precisely this kind of flat synthesis that gives the picture a unique sense of light and reminds us that "Collage" itself is also a main form of composition for modern cities and buildings. At this time, it is no longer a painting concept in the traditional sense, but about construction, composition and movement. Between city and architecture, architecture and painting, painting and personal experience, etc., Liu Wei has created varied interfaces or images where the dynamic screens reflect a kind of speed and a real landscape of modern life.