Liu Jianhua (b.1962, Ji’an, China) began his career in 1977 by working at the Jingdezhen Pottery and Porcelain Sculpture Factory. In 1985, he was admitted to the Fine Arts Department of the Jingdezhen Pottery & Porcelain College, majoring in Sculpture. After graduating in 1989, Liu 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. Creating sculpture and installations in porcelain, found objects, and other materials, Liu responds to Chinese culture and material history within the context of globalization. Liu, together with artists Hong Hao, Xiao Yu, Song Dong, and curator Leng Lin, established the Polit-Sheer-Form Office group in 2005.
His work is included in the permanent collections of institutions including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Asian Art Museum, San Francisco; Guangdong Museum of Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Kawara Museum, Shiga; Shenzhen Art Museum; Today Art Museum, Beijing; USC Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Yuz Museum, Shanghai. His installation Square (2014) was included in the 2017 Venice Biennale.
Pace Hong Kong, 15C Entertainment Building, 30 Queens Road Central
2015.08.20 – 09.24
Liu Jianhua: "While most people express certain grand themes by narrative approaches or a system of symbols, I want the opposite; to get rid of those so-called meanings and put more emphasis on the spiritual and perceptual experiences my works deliver."
Pace Hong Kong is proud to present Liu Jianhua’s spiritually uplifting solo exhibition To Be Done which opens 20th August. Liu Jianhua, whose work has recently been chosen for permanent collection by USC Pacific Asian Museum and Asian Art Museum, in this current exhibition displays his Blank Paper series. The series consists of white porcelain rectangle pieces which at first glance look like 'blank sheets of paper' mounted on the walls of the gallery. However, one must not be fooled by the simplicity of the shows first appearance, as the viewer realises when wandering the exhibition space there is a surreal atmosphere, that vibrates from the coiled corners of the fragile ceramic sheets, things are not what they initially seem.
As Liu explains, the importance of his work is founded on the 'experience' his works delivers. This ideal is reflected in To Be Done; Liu gives the viewer free reign to project his own ideas into the pieces that surround him. The artist has metamorphosed everyday objects such as leaves, bones, containers and white paper, into curious and fragile porcelain sculptures which no longer retain their absolute function in reality. The meaning (such as a piece of paper being used for writing ones thoughts) is released from the original forms, like a spirit escaping a human body, which forces the viewer to reconsider and reevaluate the object. The interactive nature of the art makes the overall space and visitors present become part of the creation.The artist gets rid of the narrative structure, concrete language or any transferable information belonging to the object to return to a way of seeing more independently, freely. The material, which still exists, acts as a vehicle for us to build pure intuitive perception. Simultaneously, the artist tries to make use of the ceramic's fragile and challenging characteristics in order to combine ancient artistic techniques in a modern conceptual context. His is work is indefinite, insecure and venturesome.
Concurrent with Pace Hong Kong’s exhibition, Liu’s Discard is shown at Japan’s triennial Echigo-Tsumari Art Field. This work was first exhibited at the Chinese Pavilion for the Venice Biennale in 2003. The piece is made up of flawed and abandoned porcelain fragments produced by kilns across hundreds of years that Liu found. This is displayed, alongside with discoloured useless daily porcelain objects. It reflects a conflict with the spatial perception of reality in the form of estrangement.
Furthermore, the artist will be participating in the group exhibition, “Reshaping Tradition: Contemporary Ceramics from East Asia” at USC Pacific Asia Museum on 11th September 2015. He has also been commissioned to make a piece for the Asian Art Museum to be shown in California next March.
About the Artist
Liu Jianhua is born in 1962 in Ji’an, Jiangxi Province, China. In 1989, he graduated from Fine Art of Sculpture at the Jingdezhen Ceramics Institute. He lives and works in Shanghai, China. From 2004 to present, he teaches in Fine Art of Sculpture in Shanghai University.
Liu Jianhua is one of China’s best known sculptural and installation artists who works primarily in porcelain and mixed media. He was raised up in Jiangxi Province where he spent 14 years in learning the ceramic and porcelain craft at Jingdezhen’s factory. He graduated in Fine Art of Sculpture at the Jingdezhen Ceramics Institute in 1989, and from this strong foundation started his own experimental practices leaning towards a more conceptual aesthetic. Liu’s work reflects his attitude towards the turbulent and problematic economic and social changes in China. His Regular/ Fragile series, first shown at the Chinese Pavilion, Venice Biennale in 2003, is composed of approximately 1,000 pieces of white porcelain sculptures that are replicas of everyday objects such as hats, shoes, toys, and books. These mundane objects reflect fragments of personal memories and cultural traditions lost in the abiss of Chinas's rapidly changing climate. Similarly, Untitled 2008 explore the bleakness of Chinas future.
Liu Jianhua’s works have been exhibited in The 1st Kiev Biennale of Contemporary Arts, 14th international Sculpture Biennale of Carrara, 17th Biennale of Sydney, Vancouver Biennale 2009-2011 (Canada), The 3rd Nanjing Triennial, 2nd Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, The 1st Singapore Biennale, The 6th Shanghai Biennale, Busan Biennale (South Korea), The 50th Biennale di Venezia China Pavilion and exhibitions held by institutions including UCCA(Beijing), Power Station of Art (Shanghai), Kunstmuseum Bern (Switzerland), Today Art Museum (Beijing), Shanghai Art Museum, Guangdong Museum of Art, Asian Art Museum (San Francisco), MoCA Shanghai, Staaliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Germany), Shenzhen Art Museum, Guang Dong Art Museum, National Art Museum of China (Beijing), Groninger Museum (The Netherlands), Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien (Austria), Cobra Museum of Modern Art (The Netherlands), Kunst Der Gegenwart Sammlung Essl (Austria), Hamburg Art Center (Germany), Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), Irish Museum of Modern Art (Dublin), Tate Liverpool (Liverpool, London), Marseilles Museum of Contemporary Art (France), Center Pompidou (France) etc,.
Liu Jianhua’s works have also been collected by Hong Kong New World, Bergen Art Museum (Norway), Yuz Foundation, OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (Shanghai), Towada Art Center (Japan), Guggenheim Museum (New York), Z-Art Center (Shanghai), The Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia), Shanghai World Expo National Organizing Committee, Shanghai World Financial Center, Santander Bank Art Center (Spain), Today Art Museum (Beijing), Shenzhen Art Museum, Guangdong Museum of Art, Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture, Queensland Art Gallery (Australia), Kawara Museum (Japan), China Club (Hong Kong, China), Coca-cola (The United States), He Xiangning Art Musem (Shenzhen), Museum of Arts and Crafts in Frankfurt (Germany) etc, and by private collection.
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