Liu Xiaodong participated in the Neo-Realistic movement in China that occurred in the 1990s and was a member of the new generation of Chinese Neo-Realism together with others. The generation avoided the subject featuring historical propaganda and sought to demonstrate more intensive emotion by depicting daily life. His works explore many contemporary social issues prevalent all around the world, including immigrants, environmental crisis, the living conditions of the underclass, and the influence of political and economic upheaval. His works focus on “humans”, documenting the happiness and agony humans experience in their lifetime.
His preference for realism painting remains unchanged as a specific stance even under the current art context where photography is especially advantageous. He pays great attention to daily scenes. By observing people’s everyday behaviors, he depicts every single detail of life in the current society in a way that strikes chords with the visitors. Not only do his works of portraits capture the figures’ facial expression and body shape, but they also reproduce their living environment.
Courtesy of the artist and Massimo De Carlo