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 Liu Jianhua, Between, Pace Gallery London
Photo Feature: Liu Jianhua's Delicate Installation 'Between' At Pace London - ArtLyst Article image

Photo Feature: Liu Jianhua's Delicate Installation 'Between' At Pace London

23-11-2015
 
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Pace London is is currently presenting its first exhibition of the work of Chinese artist Liu Jianhua. The exhibition 'Between' coincides with the eighteenth annual instalment of Asian Art in London. The artist works primarily in porcelain, after Liu Jianhua’s personal affinity with the traditional medium sprung from fourteen years of training at the imperial kilns of Jingdezhen. By creating new forms in this ancient material, Liu brings into question the contemporary Chinese artists' relationship with cultural heritage.

Image: Liu Jianhua, Between installation, Pace Gallery London. Photo P A Black © Artlyst 2015.

Liu Jianhua’s delicate porcelain installations possess aesthetic beauty, placing strong emphasis on form and material. Liu stands away from the prevailing styles in contemporary art; that of social commentary and narrative approaches and favours a “no meaning, no content” approach which signals an innovative direction in contemporary art creation.

Image: Liu Jianhua, Between installation, Pace Gallery London. Photo P A Black © Artlyst 2015.

“The title of the exhibition is meant to express the abstract idea of the relationship between the works and the space, the viewers, and between the two different cultures of tradition and modernity. “ states Liu. The artist's installations create a perfect balance between objects and space, giving the viewer free reign to explore their own ideas. He transforms paper, leaves, bones and ink drops into curious and fragile porcelain sculptures.

Image: Liu Jianhua, Between installation, Pace Gallery London. Photo P A Black © Artlyst 2015.

The artist’s Blank Paper series, included in the exhibition, consists of white porcelain rectangles which at first glance appear to be blank sheets of paper. Upon closer inspection, the viewer becomes attuned to a surreal atmosphere that vibrates from the coiled corners of the fragile ceramic sheets.

Image: Liu Jianhua, Between installation, Pace Gallery London. Photo P A Black © Artlyst 2015.

In Trace, first exhibited at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, Liu appropriates a Chinese calligraphic stroke, the “wulouhen” — stains caused by leaking roofs — and reproduces it repeatedly in gleaming black trails of porcelain. The work treats the white walls like a blank canvas, there to support Liu’s porcelain brush strokes.

Image: Liu Jianhua, Between installation, Pace Gallery London. Photo P A Black © Artlyst 2015.

Liu Jianhua’s work is included in the current group exhibition Reshaping Tradition: Contemporary Ceramic from East Asia at the USC Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena. The artist has also been commissioned to produce an installation for the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco which is scheduled to be unveiled in March 2016.

About the artist:

Liu Jianhua (b.1962, Ji’an, China) began his career in 1977 by working in a porcelain sculpture studio. In 1985, he was admitted to the Fine Arts Department of the Jingdezhen Pottery & Porcelain College, majoring in Sculpture. Liu graduated in 1989 and went on to teach at the College of Fine Arts at the Yunnan Institute of the Arts. Since 2004, Liu has been a professor in the Sculpture Department of the Fine Arts School of Shanghai University. The artist currently lives and works in Shanghai, China. The artist’s work is included in the permanent collections of institutions including The Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Asian Art Museum, San Francisco; Kawara Museum; Shenzhen Art Museum; Guangdong Museum of Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Today Art Museum, Beijing; USC Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena and the Yuz Museum, Shanghai.

Photos: P A Black © Artlyst 2015.

Liu Jianhua: Between - Pace Gallery, London - until 23 December 2015.


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