Liu Kun: My Life 劉錕:我的人生: Solo Exhibition of Liu Kun 劉錕個展

Yan Gallery is pleased to announce its next exhibition entitled “My Life”, which will feature a collection of oil paintings and resin sculptures by Mainland Chinese artist Liu Kun

Liu’s first exhibition with Yan Gallery, entitled “The Power of Mystery” was held in 2004 and was well received by the public. His subsequent exhibitions in 2005 and 2006 entitled “Shall We Dance? - Parts I and II”, proved equally successful. 

Over the years Liu Kun has developed his own highly distinctive style in which he depicts figures (often resembling the artist himself), against a plain monochrome background. The figures only take up a small portion of the large canvas, which gives us a sense of distance and detachment from the subject matter. At the same time we are drawn into the canvas by the expressions and subtle humor displayed by the characters and their situations. Liu revels in the absurdity of modern urban life and his characters seem to hover in a dream-like state. They are lost in reality, and yet display quite real and tangible emotions. 

In this collection of works, Liu looks back at his own life, portraying snippets of his existence in his usual self-deprecating style. We see him looking forlorn with a bunch of flowers in hand, and we empathize with his feelings of dejection. In another image he stands wearing a swimming cap and goggles with his arms wrapped around himself, shivering and exposed, presumably after a swim. Another image shows a naked youth, wearing nothing but a hat, showing signs of first sexual awareness. Liu is not afraid to show man’s vulnerability and isolation in the world, but at the same time, there is also a quiet peace and tranquility in his works. The mixture of strangeness and normalacy creates a dramatic tension, which captivates the viewer and draws them in. 

Liu is never overt or garish. Situations and experiences are alluded to or inferred, using cultural symbols as props. Life’s experiences are portrayed as absurd, mysterious and unfathomable and yet at the same time we can still relate to them, and empathize with the characters. Liu’s work is very contemporary, using absurdity to give meaning to the challenges of every day life.