His art is not just random dabbling for plaesure or a multi-million earning installation adorning some five-star room. It has a meaning, a reflection of the society that he comes from.
Going through his creative treasure-trove, instantly reminded me of my History lesson about Cultural Revolution from the good old college days. China for most of us is the hotbed of politics, a closed society known for its strict Party structures; a shrouded Maoist cult of personality that is constantly being reinvented.
Well Liu's art is all about these socio-political dimensions. His famous "Hiding in the City" series is specially noteworthy that earned him a global acclaim. He roots his art in the political lawn-mover act by the Government who burned down his village Suo Jia Cun in Beijing in 2005. Don't they say that hurt is a stronger emotion that acts as a binding glue.
He says "I was a meaningless person, according to society...Those years made me feel like people can exist or completely disappear". The stand out part of his works is the presentation of his own self as the common Chinese man who is increasingly pushed to the background due to government repression.
His works have found many takers outside the immediate society due to the vast scale of advertising. Surprisingly so when the works touch the much forbidden political line. But it is the power of visual design that has become a "compelling metaphor" for the ad world. Mind you it all body show, no Photoshop in play! His camouflage techniques have drawn the attention of top brands to commission their works from him.
You can have look at his works in the slideshow here.
His inspirational art was explained at the TED 2013. Catch the video below.
So do let us know if artists who speak up against State oppression be patronized by non-state actors? Leave us a reply in the comments section below.
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