Renowned curator Jérôme Sans takes us on an exclusive tour of the Chinese artist Liu Xiaodong's exhibition "Painting as Shooting" at Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice.
The exhibition was presented during the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015 by Faurschou Foundation.
BELOW TEXT FROM FAURSCHOU FOUNDATION'S PRESS RELEASE INTRODUCING THE EXHIBITION
Faurschou Foundation is pleased to present Painting as Shooting by Liu Xiaodong, curated by Jérôme Sans.This is the first major European institutional exhibition that fully explores Liu Xiaodong’s unique practice.
Liu Xiaodong is considered one of China’s most influential painters of the last two decades. He is one of the leading figurative painters of the “New Generation” of contemporary Chinese Realism of the 90s and one of China’s foremost artists.
This exhibition focuses on a unique selection of some of his most important recent projects dealing with major global sociological, cultural, economic, ecological and environmental issues from the past ten years; presenting the journey of a voyageur moving through the images of the various worlds and situations he has witnessed, in locations worldwide from China and Asia to Cuba, Europe and Israel.
Liu Xiaodong is a painter of everyday life. His images are of family and friends set against modest scenery capturing ordinary moments, such as eating, laughing or playing games. However, in-depth exploration of what is hidden behind the small stories that populate the surface of his work reveals a much bigger picture. Xiaodong’s paintings are pointing with simple gestures to the reality of the periphery, the margins and the paradoxes of our contemporary society. It is the reality that no one dares to speak about; the tough reality of daily existence that reaches out to us from displaced communities – from migrant workers, victims of ecological and natural disasters and sex workers to the new homeless – all sharing the dream of a better life.
Liu Xiaodong approaches his work with the eyes and the storyboard practice of a filmmaker. Each of the artist’s major works begins with a simple idea from one of his daily diary entries, describing the events he has witnessed, photos he has taken or people he has met, and then transforms them into live characters on his canvas. In a way the artist’s paintings resemble a production set where he acts as a director who collaborates with actors to play, record or recreate a situation, various impressions or the effects thereof. It is hereby that Liu Xioadong embodies the concept of ‘painting as shooting’.
Liu Xiaodong (b.1963) lives and works in Beijing but has undertaken projects in Tibet, Japan, Italy, the UK, Cuba and Austria, and closer to home, in Jincheng, in the north-eastern province of Liaoning, China, where he was born in 1963. He has a BFA and an MFA in painting from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (1988, 1995), where he now holds tenure as professor. He continued his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts, University of Complutense, Madrid (1998–99). His work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions at venues including the Faurschou Foundation, Copenhagen, Denmark (2016); Palazzo Strozzi (2016); Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice (2015); Shao Zhong Foundation Art Museum, Guangzhou, China, Minsgheng Museum, Shanghai, China (2014); Seattle Art Museum, WA, USA and Today Art museum, Beijing, China (2013); Kunsthaus Graz, Austria and Xinjiang Arts Centre, Urumqi, China (2012) and Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, Cguba (2010). His work has also been included in numerous group exhibitions, such as the Shanghai Biennale (2000,2010), the 15th biennale of Sydney (2006) and the 47th Venice Biennale (1997).
Jérôme Sans is an internationally renowned curator, art critic, artistic director who has curated numerous major exhibitions around the world. He was the former director of the ground-breaking Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art in Beijing and co-founder of the acclaimed Palais de Tokyo in Paris. He is currently artistic director of one of the most important urban development projects in Europe, the Lyon Rives de Saône-River Movie, and co-founder of Perfect Crossovers ltd, a Beijing based cultural consultancy group.
Faurschou Foundation is a privately owned art institution with a collection of contemporary art of the highest international class, with exhibition venues at Copenhagen North Harbour as well as Beijing’s attractive art neighbourhood 798. Faurschou Foundation introduces the visitors to some of the world’s most acclaimed artists. Faurschou Foundation’s collection is constantly developed and expanded.
Over a very short period since its establishment in 2011 Faurschou Foundation has profiled itself as a significant art institution with solo exhibitions of among other artists Ai Weiwei, Cai Guo-Qiang, Louise Bourgeois, Shirin Neshat, Gabriel Orozco, Danh Vo, and Bill Viola.
"Painting as Shooting" | filmed by Out of Sync | Venice May 2015
Interview | Jesper Bundgaard
Camera and edit | Per Henriksen
Producer | Out of Sync
Artworks courtesy | Liu Xiaodong | Faurschou Foundation | Lisson Gallery
© Out of Sync 2016