Liu Wei

刘 炜

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.

Untitled, You like me, 2004

Portait, 2004
Photos Jeanneboden

Untitled landscape, 2006

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.