Painter *1965 Beijing, lives in Beijing
Liu Wei, 2004, photo atsong
Liu Wei, born 1965 in Beijing is a prominent figure in the "Cynical Realism" movement that arose after 1989. One of his best-known paintings, "New Generation" (1990), shows two children slouching in front of a large image of Mao. The boys have prematurely old faces, symbolizing the impact that the government has on people's lives.
New Generation, 1990
Since the 1990s, Liu has developed a semi-abstract style that demonstrates wide ranging influences including expressionism, Chinese calligraphy and ink-brush painting.
Animals, people, flowers and landscapes typically melt and morph into unidentifiable shapes, which reflects Liu's belief that all of them have souls and are essentially the same. Rather than concentrating on people's alienation from and sarcasm toward authorities, Liu's themes have become more universal, about desire and lust, decay and decomposition, freedom and manipulation of expression. In recent years, the Beijing painter has also branched out to do videos and performance art pieces.
Note: there is a sculptor/painter Liu Wei, 刘 韡, born 1972, who also lives in Beijing and is known for his installations.