donated by the artist
In Liu Ye's art, humour and sadness blend into a whole. The stillness of his ironic images provides us with a deep sense of detachment and timeless freedom. Part of the post-89 'avant-garde' movement, his art is disinterested in the external flux taking place in modern China. Instead, he captures the inner solitude and vulnerability of the artist in face of the enormous changes taking place on a global scale and in Chinese society.
Liu has a highly individualistic attitude towards art, the world he creates is a personal and intimate space of concepts and thought and reflects a personal realm which is saturated in the general mood he lives in. His art displays enchanting and cute figures of naïve people, sometimes as famous as the pope, Fellini and Buster Keaton, in paradoxical contexts or colourful backgrounds, the initial happiness we encounter is on the verge of slipping into melancholy while the subtle humour in the images propels one to think and investigate the unique world on the canvas. Today, one of China's best selling contemporary artists, Liu is a striking example of a Chinese artist exploring his own internal world through external and anonymous figures and western icons. Most of his work is done in bright, vivid and warm colours, while the more melancholic ones are toned down to dark and cold blues.
Liu Ye was guest resident at the Rijksakademie in 1998.
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