Liu Xiandong

崔 岫 闻

Painter, Cinematographer,*1963 Jincheng, Liaoning, works in Beijing

Liu Xiandong, 2010
Photo hotanproject

Liu Xiandong is a figurative painter with an understated touch, who is one of China’s leading successful and most passionate artists. He has found a way to chronicle—without cynicism—what might be called the psychic landscape of a society in transition.

Liu paints ordinary people, presenting them sympathetically and with an eye for the absurdity of everyday existence. - In protest against the speculators buying up his works, Liu painted directly on the gallery walls for his 2006 “Domino” exhibition, only to whitewash them at the show’s close.

Liu Xiaodong studied at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and received a Masters degree in oil painting in 1995. From 1998 he continued his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts at the Madrid Complutense University in Spain. He lives in Beijing.

China, not USC!!! 2010

Liu Xiaodong and his girls
at the Venice Bienale, 2006

Phoenix, 2009

Liu Xiandong's Film Career

In 1990 Liu began participating in the Chinese Independent Film Movement as the lead actor in “The Days,” which was named one of the top 100 most important international films of the past century by the BBC. In 1993 he became the Art director for the movie “Beijing Bastards.” 2006 he starred in the Documentary, “Dong” ("East"), a documentary of the Three Gorges and Thailand directed by Jia Zhangke. This film was entered into the 2006 Venice Film Festival as a candidate for the Golden Lion Award.

Yan'guan Town in Gansu
In the late summer of 2009, Liu Xiaodong traveled to Yan'guan County in Gansu Province, China. A Turkic Uigur area for centuries known for its horses. The previous year Liu had spent time there painting horses and became fascinated by the region's crossroads of cultures. On this return trip he sought to depict the peaceful co-existence of Moslems and Christians - both foreign to Han-Chinese Liu.

Moslem Café, 2009

Yan'guan Horse Market, 2008

Christian family in Chruch, 2009

Working in situ at the small café owned by a Moslem family (he was not permitted inside their mosque) and a Christian family's simple brick church, Liu created a large group portrait for each family and a series of individual portrait studies.

This adventure exists in three videos on YouTube, which are of interest for their ethnographic aspect:
Yan'guan Town, Gansu 2009
Part 1, 11 min, Moslems, YouTube
Part 2, 13 min, Christians, YouTube
Part 3, 11min, YouTube

His classical Turkic style painting of the Yan'guan “Horse Market” has the dimensions of 38x1000 cm, (acrylic on paper, 2008). It can be admired with some patience compliments of his Fench gallery hdemontferrand