TKG+ is pleased to present Shanghai-based artist Liu Jianhua (b.1962) and his first solo exhibition at the venue, on view from June 21 to July 20 (reception: Saturday, June 21, 4:30 pm). The exhibition features five of Liu’s porcelain pieces as well as one large installation.
The large installation Discard comprises multicolor reproduction antique porcelain, as well as white replicas of modern daily utensils. The piece embodies conflicting forces between tradition and modernity, telling a tale of materialism gone wrong in modern-day society, with all its seemingly sweet comforts. Buried in the debris of porcelain is perhaps a form of rebellion against globalization, marketization, and commodity fetishism.
Liu participated in the China Pavilion, Venice Biennale in 2003, where he presented porcelain replicas of daily found objects that privilege appearance and symbolism over function. In 2008, he shifted his attention on social issues that came with globalization in China to “no meaning, no context,” which declared a fairly new exploration of his creative process with the Untitled series in 2008, and therefore formed “quiet aesthetics,” a fundamental direction leading the perception of contemporary art practice.
Liu Jianhua was born in Ji’an, Jiangxi Province, China. Growing up in Jiangxi Province, he spent 14 years learning traditional ceramics and porcelain techniques in the main factory of Jingdezhen, the capital of porcelain since ancient China. Later he graduated with a major in sculpture from the Department of Fine Arts of the Jingdezhen Ceramics Institute in 1989. Since 2004 he has been teaching at the Department of Sculpture in the College of Fine Arts in Shanghai University. He now lives and works in Shanghai, China.
With his dexterous use of porcelain and mixed media, Liu stands as one of China’s pioneering sculpture and installation artists. His body of work reflects the economic and social changes in China, as well as the problems that ensued. Liu has exhibited worldwide, including Kuandu Biennale, Taipei (2012); Kiev Biennale of Contemporary Arts, Ukraine (2012); International Sculpture Biennale of Carrara, Italy (2010); the Biennale of Sydney, Australia (2010); Vancouver Biennale, Canada (2009); Nanjing Triennial, China (2008); Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Russia (2007); Singapore Biennale, Singapore (2006); Shanghai Biennale, China (2006); Busan Biennale, South Korea (2004); Biennale di Venezia China Pavilion, Italy (2003) and exhibitions held by institutions including UCCA, Beijing; Power Station of Art, Shanghai; Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland; Today Art Museum, China; Shanghai Art Museum, China; Guangdong Museum of Art,
China; Asian Art Museum, San Francisco; MoCA Shanghai, China; Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Germany; Shenzhen Art Museum, China; Guang Dong Art Museum, China; 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, the UK; Marseilles Museum of Contemporary Art, France, and Center Pompidou, France, among others.
Liu Jianhua’s works are in public collection of Hong Kong New World, Bergen Art Museum, Norway; Yuz Foundation, Indonesia; OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shanghai; Towada Art Center, Japan; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Z-Art Center , Shanghai; The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia; World Expo National Organizing Committee, Shanghai; World Financial Center, Shanghai; Santander Bank Art Center, Spain; Today Art Museum, Beijing; Shenzhen Art Museum, Guangdong Museum of Art, Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture, South Korea; Queensland Art Gallery, Australia; Kawara Museum, Japan; China Club, Hong Kong; Coca-cola, the US; He Xiangning Art Museum, China; Museum of Arts and Crafts in Frankfurt, Germany, and in private collection.
Liu is also a member of artist group “Polit-Sheer-Form Office.” Founded in July 2005, PSFO is Hong Hao, Xiao Yu, Song Dong, Liu Jianhua, and Leng Lin.