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Liu Zheng

Chinese, b. 1969

134 followers
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Liu Zheng

Chinese, b. 1969

134
Followers
Biography

Liu Zheng became interested in the narrative and romantic potential of photography during his early career as a photojournalist for the Chinese newspaper The Workers’ Daily. Liu, who was deeply influenced by the work of Diane Arbus and August Sander, quit his job and traveled throughout China for eight years to take portraits of what he considered archetypal Chinese figures, including convicts, Peking Opera singers, monks, and even corpses. This collection would become Liu’s best known work, titled “The Chinese” (1994-2002) in reference to Robert Frank’s “The Americans” (1958). Though his Chinese audience initially responded with indignation to Liu’s grim depictions, the artist explains his practice as non-critical, saying, “for me, the operative word is ‘studying’.” Following “The Chinese,” Liu has produced works expanding on themes of identity in Chinese culture, including a series of 40 monochrome portraits titled “Dream Shock” (2009).

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Group
Group show at a major institution
Mori Art Museum
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 2 more
Biography

Liu Zheng became interested in the narrative and romantic potential of photography during his early career as a photojournalist for the Chinese newspaper The Workers’ Daily. Liu, who was deeply influenced by the work of Diane Arbus and August Sander, quit his job and traveled throughout China for eight years to take portraits of what he considered archetypal Chinese figures, including convicts, Peking Opera singers, monks, and even corpses. This collection would become Liu’s best known work, titled “The Chinese” (1994-2002) in reference to Robert Frank’s “The Americans” (1958). Though his Chinese audience initially responded with indignation to Liu’s grim depictions, the artist explains his practice as non-critical, saying, “for me, the operative word is ‘studying’.” Following “The Chinese,” Liu has produced works expanding on themes of identity in Chinese culture, including a series of 40 monochrome portraits titled “Dream Shock” (2009).

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Group
Group show at a major institution
Mori Art Museum
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 2 more