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.

Timeline

1972
Born in Beijing, China
1996
Graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts, Zhejiang Province, China
2006
Chinese Contemporary Art Award, honorable mention
2008
Chinese Contemporary Art Award, Best Artist
2011
Credit Suisse Today Art Award, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China
2012
Martell Artist of the Year Award
Currently lives and works in Beijing, China

Exhibitions

2013
Every Day Matters, Faurschou Foundation, Copenhagen, Denmark
2013
Shamans & Dissent, Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong, China
2013
Art Basel Unlimited 2013, Basel
2013
Re:emerge: Towards a New Cultural Cartography, Sharjah Biennial, United Arab Emirates
2013
Liu Wei, Lehmann Maupin, New York (solo)
2013
West Bund 2013: A Biennial of Architecture and Contemporary Art, Shanghai, China
2013
Sharjah Biennial Re: emerge – towards a new cultural cartography, Sharjah, UAE
2013
Void, Arrow Factory, Beijing, China (solo)
2012
Liu Wei, Long March Space, Beijing, China (solo)
2012
Liu Wei: Foreign, Almine Rech Gallery, Paris, France (solo)
2012
The 4th Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China
2012
EDIT: Image Fetish and Phobia, ShanghART H – SPACE, Shanghai, China
2012
Martell Artists of the Year, Today Art Museum, Beijing; Guangdong Art Museum, Guangzhou; Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai; China
2012
La Chambre Claire, Taikang Space, Beijing, China
2012
Inside the White Cube, White Cube Bermondsey, London, UK
2012
CIGE, China World Trade Centre, Beijing, China
2012
Adumbration Exhibition, re-C Art Space, Chengdu, China
2012
Water Stains On The Wall – The Carrier of Formation, Zhejiang Art Museum, Zhejiang, China
2011
Art Brussels, Brussels, Belgium
2011
Myriad Beings, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China (solo)
2011
Trilogy, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China (solo)
2011
About Painting, Art Berlin Contemporary, Berlin, Germany
2011
Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), Leo Xu Projects, Shanghai, China
2011
Frieze, London, U.K.
2011
FIAC, Paris, France
2011
Credit Suisse Today Art Award 2011 Finalists Exhibition, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China
2011
Art Basel, Basel, Switzerland
2011
The Shape of Time – the multinarrative history in contemporary Chinese art, Iberia Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China
2011
Thirty years of Chinese Contemporary Art – Moving Image in China 1988-2011, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China
2011
Shanshui, Lucerne Museum of Art, Lucerne, Switzerland
2011
The Hague under the Heaven, The Hague Sculpture, The Hague, Netherlands
2011
ACT>TION – video exhibition, Long March Space, Beijing, China
2010
DREAMLANDS, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
State of Things, Exhibition of the Contemporary Art Exchange between China and Belgium, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China
Roundtrip: Beijing, New York NOW, Selections from the Domus Collection, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China
Long March Project, Ho Chi Minh Trail, Long March Space, Beijing, China
Shanghai Biennale Rehearsal, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China
Breaking Forecast- 8 Key Figures of China, New Generation Artists, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art,Beijing, China
2010
Diversion Era: Liu Wei, CAN Foundation, Seoul, South Korea (solo)
2009
The Big World: Recent Art From China, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, USA
2009
Breaking Forecast – 8 Key Figures of China’s New Generation Artists, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China
2009
The Forgotten Experience, Galerie Hussenot, Paris, France (solo)
Yes, That's All, Beors-Li Gallery, Beijing, China (solo)
Art Basel, Basel, Switzerland
ShContemporary 09 Asia-Pacific Contemporary Art Fair, Shanghai Exhibition Center, Shanghai, China
State of Things, Exhibition of the Contemporary Art Exchange between China and Belgium, BOZAR Center for the Arts,Brussels, Belgium
The New Attitude of Image, Tang Contemporary, Beijing, China
Bourgeoisified Proletariat, ShanghART Songjiang Creative Studio, Shanghai, China
Farewell to Postcolonialism, Third Guangzhou Triennial, Guangzhou, China
2008
Expenditure, Busan Biennale, Busan, South Korea
Building Code Violations II, Long March Space, Beijing, China
Revolution Continues, Saatchi Gallery, London, U.K.
The Borders of Utopia, Beijing Today Art Museum, Beijing, China
2008
Farewell to Postcolonialism, Third Guangzhou Triennial, Guangzhou, China
2008
Upcoming: New World Order, Groninger Museum, Groningen, Netherlands
2008
Community of Tastes, Iberia Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China
2008
Our Future, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China
2008
Sprout from White Nights, Bonnierskonsthall, Stockholm, Sweden
2008
Dior and Chinese Artists, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China
2008
Mahjong: Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection, Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, USA
2008
CYLWXZ, Esther Schipper Gallery, Berlin, Germany
2007
The History of a Decade that Has Not Yet Been Named, Ninth Lyon Biennale, Lyon, France
NONO, Long March Space, Beijing, China
7 Characters: New Art from China, Mayor Gallery, London, UK
China Now, Cobra Museum, Amstelveen, The Netherlands
Lyon Biennial 2007, Lyon, France
China Power Station: Part II, Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst, Oslo, Norway
Barcelona-Paris-Pekin, Espace Cultural Ample, Barcelona, Spain
Year of the Golden Pig: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection, Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork, Ireland
Art in Motion: Chinese Contemporary Art Meets the BMW Art Cars, Long March Space, Beijing, China
The Outcast, UniversalStudios-Beijing, Beijing, China (solo)
Love It, Bite It, China Art Archives and Warehouse, Beijing, China (solo)
2006
Property of L.W, Beijing Commune, Beijing, China (solo)
Purple Air, Grace Li Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
Fiction@Love, MOCA Shanghai , Shanghai , China
Contemporary China, PKM Gallery, Seoul , Korea
Yellow box, Qingpu, Shanghai , China
The second space for contemporary ink work -idylls and visions, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou , China
ALLLOOKSAME?/TUTTTUGUALE? - Art from China , Korea and Japan, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin , Italy
The 4th Seoul International Media Art Biennale, Seoul Museum of Art , Seoul , Korea
2006
Long March Capital, Long March Space, Beijing, China
2006
Thirty-Eight Solo Exhibitions, Creative Garden, Shanghai, China
2006
The Twelve: Chinese Contemporary Art Awards, Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, China
2006
Idylls and Visions: The Second Space for Contemporary Ink Work, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China
2006
It's All Right! BizArt Art Center, Shanghai, China
2006
City Limits: Shanghai / Los Angeles, University Art Museum, Long Beach, USA
2006
China Now, Sammlung Essl - Kunsthaus, Klosterneuberg, Germany
2004–2006
Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video From China, The Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, USA; Smart Museum of Art, Chicago, USA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA; International Center for Photography, New York, USA
2005
Battlefield: The Courtyard Gallery Annex, Beijing (solo)
The Second Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China
51st Venice Biennale: Venice, Italy
Mahjong: Bern, Switzerland
First Nanjing Triennial: Nanjing, China
2005
The New Long March Space Inaugural Exhibition, Long March Space, Beijing, China
2005
Outside, Long March Space, Beijing, China
2005
Beyond: The 2nd Guangzhou Triennial, Guangzhou, China
2005
Something's Happening, BizArt Art Center, Shanghai, China
2005
Regeneration: Contemporary Chinese Art from China and the US, Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, USA
2004
Chinese Eyes: Contemporary Photography from China, Goedhuis Contemporary, New York, USA
2004
Shanghai Biennale, Techniques of the Visible: Shanghai, China
Regeneration, touring exhibition, USA
Exhibitions Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China, International Center of Photography and The Asia Society, New York, Smart Museum of Art (touring exhibition)
Museum of Contemporary, Chicago, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA; Art House of World Cultures, Berlin, Germany
2003
Open Sky, Duolun Museum of Art, Shanghai, China
The Fifth System: Public Art in the Age of Post-Planning, Shenzhen, China
Together with Migrant, Today Art Gallery, Beijing, China
Double Time, China Academy of Fine Arts, Huangzhou, China
Second Hand Reality, Today Art Gallery, Beijing, China
Refine 798, 798, Beijing, China
2003
Hello, Comrade Mingong, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China
2003
Nasty, BizArt Art Center, Shanghai, China
2002
The First Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China
Mirage, Godot Art Museum, Suzhou Art Museum, Suzhou, China
Everyday Attitude: An Exhibition of Chinese Photo-Based Arts, Pingyao, Shanxi, China
Too Much Flavour, 3H Art Center, Shanghai, China; Avant-Garde, Hakaren, Singapore
2001
Post-Sensibility Spree, Beijing Film Academy, Beijing, China
Non-Linear Narrative, Gallery of National Academy of Fine Arts, Hangzhou, China
Mantic Ecstasy, Impression Gallery, Hangzhou; Bizart Art Center, Shanghai; Loft
New Media Art Space, Beijing, China
16th Asian International Art Exhibition, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China
2001
Hong Kong International Video Festival, Museum of Circumstance, Hong Kong, China
2001
The Reaping, Beijing, China
2000
Portraits, Figures, Couples and Groups, BizArt Art Center, Shanghai, China
2000
City Zoom, German
2000
Hong Kong International Video Festival, Hong Kong, China
2000
Chinese Landscape - Concept Photography Exhibition, Beijing, China
2000
Home? Contemporary Art Project, Yuexing Furniture Warehouse, Shanghai, China
1999
Art for Sale, Shanghai Plaza, Shanghai, China
Beijing in London, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, UK
Post-Sensibility: Alien Bodies and Delusion, Shaoyaoju, Beijing, China
1999
Supermarket, Shanghai, China
1999
Hong Kong International Video Festival, Museum of Circumstance, Hong Kong, China
1999
People Have changed, Shanghai, China
1999
Culture Life, Shanghai, China
1998
Consider Oneself and Surroundings, Beijing, China

Literature

2007
China Art Book. Uta Grosenick / Caspar Schübbe (Ed.), 680 pages, approx. 850 images, trilingual: Engl./Ger./Chin., Dumont Buchverlag, Cologne 2007. www.chinaartbook.de