Liu Kun – 2005
Shall We Dance?

08_Liu Kun-&-MrFong_small






Shall We Dance?

Forty years ago in China there were eight yang ban xi (exemplary stage performances). These original set pieces were not bad; they were convincingly produced with a pioneering, revolutionary message. However, later they were misused as means to delude the people and they became intolerable. Some of my relatives were sent to jail because they criticized the yang ban xi.

In his recent works Liu Kun has taken the yang ban xi as his main subject matter. The paintings themselves are quite large, although the figures within are small. The artist uses psychology to convey the frail state of mind and meager living conditions of the ordinary people of that era. The artist voluntarily depicts himself in his own paintings, expressing the people’s feelings of loyalty, honesty, endurance and endeavour. The viewer can appreciate the self-mockery. We can now laugh openly at the ridiculed characters from the yang ban xi, although during that era 800 million Chinese people were fooled by them for as long as ten years. Thankfully we can now freely make fun of them without being criticized for it – for this we are grateful to our artist Liu Kun.

Fong Yuk Yan

November 2005