Moving Image of Liu Xiaodong 1984–2014
May 16–July 31, 2014
Minsheng Art Museum
Bldg F, 570 West Huaihai Road
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10–18h
Chief curator: Ai Min
Academic director: Britta Erickson
Featured directors: A Cheng, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Jia Zhangke, Tong Weijun, Wang Xiaoshuai, Yao Hung-I, Yang Bo, Sophie Fiennes
Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum is pleased to present Childhood Friends Getting Fat – Moving Image of Liu Xiaodong 1984–2014. To be unveiled on May 16, the exhibition will feature over a thousand photographs taken by the artist since 1984 and several documentaries/films about him by directors both at home and from abroad. In the meantime, selected painting works by Liu Xiaodong will also be put on display.
Chronologically arranged, the photographs taken during the past three decades are divided into several categories, casting light on the artist’s interaction with his families, friends and the society as a whole. The presentation of the growth stories, life experience and social insight of the artist as an individual offers viewers a chance to witness the changes and evolution of our social life and the zeitgeist during the past 30 years through a personal touch. A series of films and documentaries deriving from Liu Xiaodong’s practice will also be screened during the exhibition, providing further insight into the artist’s work and life. Featured directors will include A Cheng, Jia Zhangke, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Tong Weijun, Wang Xiaoshuai, Yao Hung-I, Yang Bo and British film director Sophie Fiennes.
Different from his painting works, photography is not only a memorandum and source of inspiration for Liu Xiaodong’s practice, but also an effective means for the artist to detach himself from the reality. Through his photographs, Liu Xiaodong delineates two different worlds: one is the world where families and friends gather together; and the other focuses on the society and social life in the broader sense. The boundary between the worlds looks distinct, but the sharp sense of contrast lying between them seems to indicate otherwise: they are in fact interdependent and their mutual influence seeps into each other. Similar to the photographs which mirror the various events and situations the artist has witnessed, the films featuring him or his practice also give out the impression that the reality is represented in a natural and somewhat casual way in Liu’s art world.
Childhood Friends Getting Fat is more than a presentation of the artist’s personal stories and observation. Through the moving images, the exhibition endeavors to cast light on the evolving “site” of the society during the past 30 years and to probe into the spirit of individuals in this changing era. In a sense, it’s a tribute the artist pays to life. In conjunction with the exhibition, talks and lectures given by film directors, curators and scholars will be presented together with several screening sessions. The exhibition will run through July 31.
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