NO SMOKING SERIES:FLOWER
Liu Wei (b.1965)
China Guardian HK 2016 Autumn Auctions
20th Century and Contemporary Chinese Art
74 x 45.5 cm
People's Republic of China (1949-)Estimate:
Painted in 1999;Mixed madia on paper;Signed in Chinese and Pinyin and dated on the bottom;Provenance:Private Collection, Europe.LIU WEI(b.1965)Liu Wei is one of the leading artists in Cynical Realism, and is renowned for his innovative composition in painting. As one of first contemporary Chinese artists that recognized by the western world, Liu Wei has participated in Chinese Fine Arts Exhibition in 1989, Sao Paolo Art Biennial, La Biennale di Venezia… and various global art exhibitions, which provide him a foundation of his future success in contemporary Chinese art. Liu Wei is also famous for his talented drawing sensibility: his painting is a tool that delivers messages from the philosophy of living life.Liu Wei’s artwork is a testimony of the 90s transition period in contemporary China and involves various aspects such as politics, economy and culture. The technique skill of Flower can be considered as flower-and-bird painting that used among Chinese litterateur. The shadow of the flower in the center of the painting is accomplished by heroic sketch, along with his signature fleshliness elements. The pink color is mixed with unrecognizable plants, face, monuments and slogans, appears heavy and complicated to viewers. Expanding lines and fading colours creates a complex that represents the frangibility of life and death—the karma of human beings. The fleshliness pink is in contrast with the fresh green—this composition is inspired by the artist’s Do You Like Meat? series which was created in the year of 1995. Meanwhile, it also shows the insecurity of a cigarette smoker to the popular Smoking Ban trend in contemporary Chinese society. It even involves the artist’s concern toward public issues. In the painting, the colour and format of the flesh is in association with unrecognizable organic beings and decadent graffiti. The artist has successfully drawing the viewer’s attention to oppositions such as fertile to arid, delicate to rude, lovely to nasty, and also living to death.The works of the Liu Wei have always been criticized for its breaking composition and lost of manners, however, some people believe that his work is originated from his compassionate to art and human beings. Liu Wei uses traditional art languages such as ink and xuan paper to express his thoughts and experience, which appear to be very personal to the public, and derives his own signature style in painting. From the blank space, twisted lines, and nonsense slogans of his work, the artist is telling the audience that his works are not perfect pictures, but expressions of an unduplicated inner world.