An artist whose oeuvre includes a cityscape made of dog chews; a photo composite landscape formed from images of buttocks and a two-metre model poo is bound to cause some controversy.
Beijing-based artist Liu Wei is certainly not afraid to shock, as demonstrated in his exhibition Trilogy, which was shown earlier this year in Shanghai’s Minsheng Art Museum. It is the artist’s largest solo show to date, bringing together works from the last two years including large-scale on-site installations, sound installations and oil paintings.
The works included in Trilogy focus on his relationship with the material objects in the world around us. society’s ‘coexistence of contractions’, the works examine ‘Micro politics, the confrontation of body and power, visual expression and limits of power’, according to Minsheng Art Museum.
Design Week spoke to the artist ahead of the release of his new book, Liu Wei Trilogy, monograph is the official catalogue that accompanies the exhibition. It will launch at London’s Galleria Illy on 14 October.
DW: Why did you decide to publish Trilogy now?
LW: This is my second [book]. It is the conclusion of a period of my work.
DW: What themes are central to your work?
LW: Society, the aesthetics of power.
DW: How do people’s reactions generally differ to your work?
LW: An audience is always at the opposite side the creative process, I attempt to screen its existence in order to express myself more purely.
DW: What is your favourite medium to work in?
LW: First there is the idea, and then I find the material or form that can bear the weight of it.
I’m not sure. In the recent past I have been working primarily in oil paintings and sculpture, installation. Following these I may lean towards integrated video, sculpture and painting, or forms within public landscape.
DW: What artists inspire you?
LW: Duchamp, Warhol, Pasolini… actually there are many, particularly while I was studying and when I first began to create independently.
DW: What plans do you have for the future?
LW: I’m still unsure.
Trilogy, published by Charta, is launching at Galleria Illy on 14 October, when there will be a panel discussion with founding editor of LEAP magazine (Beijing) Phil Tinari , deputy director of Minsheng Art Museum (Shanghai) Guo Xiaoyan and director of Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art (Oslo) Gunnar B. Kvaran.