Liu Wei (don't use) - BRIC London Thursday, April 14, 2011 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Schoeni Art Gallery, Hong Kong; acquired directly from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    This work, painted in 1996, is from the You Like me, Why Not series by a Beijing artist Liu Wei, who is commonly associated with the post-1989 movement of Cynical Realism. This sequence, however, belongs to the more poetic, contemplative part of the artist’s oeuvre. Liu’s work is highly expressive, the quality that he achieves and intensifies by combining the abstraction and figuration, using vibrant saturated colours, as well as by scribbling expressions on the canvases that speak to the viewer with people’s basic desires. Nataline Colonello believes Liu’s paintings “reveal not only the fusion of the outward forms but also a spiritual unity between the artist and his subjects” (N. Colonello, Mahjong: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection, Ostfildern, 2004, p. 314.).
    Through the use of violent brushstrokes, Liu questions the essence of the man’s existence, bares his creative nature and exposes the soul searching process that he undergoes. His art reveals the repressed emotions and human urges making itself an extremely personal practice. In the artist’s own words:  “I paint how I try to live - usually in a mess. I see many kinds of people, landscapes and animals; I listen to many different sounds that can cause me some problems, but I always smile. I am occasionally stuck by creativity, and try to paint as much as possible in my free time. Each piece of my art in my studio is like a fresh egg that has not had enough time to attract the flies who are ready to attack, nor has it had enough time to relax or be at ease. This is the time I most like the work, in this state of limbo when my paintings seem to coax me saying, “You like me. Why not!” “. (W. Liu, Schoeni Art Gallery website)


You Like Me, Why Not Series No.21

Oil on canvas.
30 x 40 cm (11 7/8 x 15 3/4 in).
Signed in Chinese and Pinyin and dated 'Liu Wei 1996' lower left.

£50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for £79,250


14 - 15 April 2011