‘Since the beginning of the 1990s, Liu Jianhua has been using all sorts of Chinese style apparel as a leitmotif in his work, from Sun Yat-sen jackets and double-breasted suits to cheongsam… The emergence of his style is closely linked to the trend toward conceptualism and symbolism by contemporary Chinese art in the 1980s, the influence of which can be seen in the discordant juxtaposition of symbols in Liu’s work, which emphasizes the artist’s interpretation and elaboration of cultural perspectives over the viewer’s participatory experience. … From the very beginning, “Obsessive memories” is a coming together of the cheongsam and female form, which on one hand visually emphasizes the eroticism of the milk-white thighs and pert breasts, but on the other hand deliberately overlooks the subject’s details and instead uses incidental symbols such as the sofa or the bathtub to give an air of finality to the existence of that eroticism, More importantly, the decrease in size of Liu’s compositions, which coincides with their adoption of the brightly-coloured cheongsam, also has the effect of turning the viewer’s contemplation of the work into something akin to how he might consider a plaything, just as the absence of facial expressions or hand gestures deprives the audience of important means of passing judgement.’ – Pi Li. This is the catalogue for Liu Jianhua’s solo exhibition held at Hanart TZ Gallery in 2001. Essays written on his sculptures and a chronology of his artistic activities are included.
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