The JN Projects Blog

Liu Xiaodong: Painting from Life

During a visit to the White Rabbit Collection Research Library last year, artist Liu Xiaodong donated a series of  monographs and catalogues including, 'Liu Xiaodong: Hometown Boy', 'Liu Xiaodong's Hotan Project' and 'Liu Xiaodong: Three Gorges - Displaced Population'. Among this donation was a particularly beautiful publication, 'Liu Xiaodong: Painting from Life', a substantial monograph published in conjunction with his solo exhibition of the same name at the Guangdong Museum of Art (Guangzhou, China) in 2006.

This monograph focuses on the artist's then recent projects, where he travelled across China, Taiwan and Thailand to document the lives of ordinary people, from military personnel to construction labourers to sex workers, employing subjects to sit for him in the making of his large-scale, en plein air paintings. 

Including a number of essays as well as a comprehensive collection of preparatory sketches, notes, personal photographs, news articles and full colour artwork illustrations, this text offers a rare insight into the artist's research and art making process.

See below for glimpse inside:

Liu Xiaodong Painting from Life

Liu Xiaodong Painting from Life

Liu Xiaodong Painting from Life

Liu Xiaodong Painting from Life

 

An important quote by Liu Xiaodong from the text reads, "I only paint what the factory worker can see", and indeed the very human quality of his paintings is what's most striking; they speak to everyday, lived experience in a highly sympathetic, intuitive manner.  Like cinematic still frames, these large-scale paintings turn passing moments into concrete representations of life as it's lived.

This publication can be found, along with many related others, at the White Rabbit Collection Research Library, open to researchers on Thursdays and Fridays by appointment. To request access to the Library and arrange an appointment, please visit: https://www.jnprojects.net/white-rabbit-collection/library/

 

Nichola Palazzi - Library Assistant

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