Liu Wei - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale Hong Kong Sunday, November 24, 2019 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    White Cube
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Widely considered to be one of China’s most progressive and intriguing artists to have emerged onto the international contemporary art scene, Beijing-based Liu Wei’s multidisciplinary practice transcends both medium and material. As part of a generation who grew up in a period of accelerated urbanisation and ideological instability, Liu Wei’s artworks often concern the complexity of the human condition, particularly within the facets of contemporary urban life. In his uniquely diverse body of work that includes paintings, sculptures, photography and installation art, Liu Wei frequently reworks found materials in an abstract manner. In doing so, the artist draws new meanings out of the materials. In his visual exploration of 21st century socio-political concepts, Liu Wei presents his viewers with abstract representations that crystalise China’s rapid transformations.

    As the first work from the artist’s Jungle series (2012-2014) to be offered at an international auction platform, Jungle No.6 is a prime example of Liu Wei’s industrial monochrome canvases that expand the scope of painting. Composed of a muted khaki sheet of rough canvas stretched over the frame, Liu Wei elevates the surface of the work through various thickly folded seams. Secured with hard creases visibly bolted to wooden supports, the structure of Liu Wei’s crisscrossed work denies the canvas of its conventional use as a surface for painting. The faintly discoloured nature of the canvas material suggests a life before being adhered to the artist’s frame, reflecting the artist’s influences found in the transforming urban landscape around him.

    Forming new architectural constructions in Exotic Lands No.14, Liu Wei also utilises salvaged debris to highlight upon the significance of mediums in the art-making process. Re-purposing industrial wooden doors and building materials, Liu Wei reassembles the found materials into abstract, geometric configurations. As suggested by the series title, Exotic Lands, the process of de-familiarising objects contributes to generating an unexpectedly foreign visual experience for the viewer. Furthermore, the artist’s process of dismantling followed by reconstruction echoes that of an evolving cityscape, thus providing the viewer with a somewhat ironic commentary concerning the contradictions of contemporary urban society.

    As a leading figure in China’s post-cultural revolution art establishment, Liu Wei’s work is widely collected and internationally celebrated. Alongside being exhibited in prestigious organisations worldwide (such as his first solo exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art), Liu Wei’s artworks are included in numerous museum collections, including the M+Sigg Collection in Hong Kong, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, the Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul, and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. The invitations for Liu Wei to exhibit at both the 2005 Venice Biennale and the most recent 2019 edition, confirms that the artist’s unique visual attraction continues to enrich the history of abstract art.


Exotic Lands No.14

signed and dated 'Liu Wei [in Chinese] Liuwei 2012' on the reverse
wood, stainless steel
225 x 122.5 cm. (88 5/8 x 48 1/4 in.)
Executed in 2012.

HK$500,000 - 700,000 

Sold for HK$400,000

Contact Specialist
Danielle So
Associate Specialist, Head of Day Sale

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 25 November 2019