Liu Wei (Chinese, b.1972) works in many types of media including installation, video, drawing, painting, and sculpture. He graduated from the China Academy of Art in 1996 and began his career as part of a subversive movement that called itself Post-Sense Sensibility. The movement wanted to create extreme experiences for those seeing their work and embraced improvisation, irrationality, and intuition. A 1999 show called Post-Sense, Sensibility, Alien Bodies and Delusion is remembered for its visceral sculptures of human and animal bodies and body parts. Liu showed a piece of video art called Hard to Restrain featuring naked people running around across multiple channels.
The artist’s major works include Indigestion II, a model of human excrement made from tar and Love it! Bite it!, a model of parliament buildings made from dried gut normally sold as chew toys for dogs. His Super Structure series of model cityscapes is also constructed from dog chews. Purple Air is a series of oil paintings that depict stylized skyscrapers. The series titled Landscape Series is made of photographs of human buttocks. He builds very few of his own works himself; instead he directs local villagers as they produce his ideas. Even Liu's paintings are created by the artist digitally, transferred to a canvas, and filled in by his assistants. He gives his assistants instructions, which they follow. As they are completing his instructions, he considers the next step, allowing for some improvisation in his work. Despite his hands-off approach to his artwork, he has resisted automating his work. He prefers the imperfect work that human hands create. His major influences include Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987) and Marcel Duchamp (French, 1887–1968).
Liu is currently based in Beijing and represented in China by the Courtyard Gallery, in New York by the Jack Tilton Gallery, and in Singapore by Asian Art Options. He has been featured in many exhibitions around the world, including 21: World Wide Video Festival in Amsterdam, Cineame du Reel at the Pompidou Center in France, Between Past and Future in New York at the International Center for Photography, and Over One Billion Served in Denver at the Museum of Contemporary Art.