Liu Jin. (China, B. 1971).
"Incident 2002: Young girls (no. 2)/ (Women in Fetters). 2002-6.
C-Print. ed. 8 of 10. Signed.
Size: 47.2 x 71.3 in. / 120 x 181 cm.
This visually intense color photograph belongs to a seminal, larger body of work called "Youth Stories" by Chinese multi-media artist, Liu Jin. Born in the early 1970's this series is familiar and personal to Liu and all tend to focus on young women, and includes images that range in theme from emotional and physical pleasure, pain, suffering to elation and tranquility. As the artist states about the foundation for all of his photographic images: "Every generation...cannot bypass the period of feeling loss, rebelling, hurting when walking from pure childhood towards the sophisticated adult world. Especially (the) ‘70's generation’ (in China) who joined student movements... and were also the first youth generation (in China) having experienced economic reform and the impact of consumer culture".
This famous photograph depicts a line of young women all standing straight and gazing outwards. The women are all of Asian heritage except for the last woman in line, who is tall and blond. Photographed in the artist's studio, each woman is casually dressed, and bound with ropes and chains in some manner, yet this 'bondage' imagery intentionally carries an artificial flavor as knots, ties and fetters are loose and easily escape-able, clearly not inflicting pain on these women. In turn, the bruises, blood and other injuries are also artificial and clearly created with make-up. In sum, the title and imagery are brilliant metaphors that allow the artist to make a statement about the ongoing repressed gender roles and socio-economic status of young women in many parts of the world, including his native China, even in this era of reform and feminism. In turn, the women themselves are conflicted, bound to one another as women, yet each striving to be recognized as individuals.
The artist has exhibited in countless Museum and Gallery shows world wide including the seminal travelling exhibition 2006: "Ruins- An Exhibition Of New Video And Photography From China", at The Institute of Visual Arts at
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee US, The China International Gallery Exploren (CIGE); and F2 Gallery, Beijing. In 2004 he was part of another important US Museum exhibition: "Over One Billion Served: Conceptual Photography From The People’s Republic Of China", The Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, U.S.. Additional select Museum exhibitions were held at Gegenwartskunst aus der Sammlung Sigg Kunstmuseum, Bern; The Trevi Flash Art Museum, Italy; The Xuzhou Museum, Xuzhou, China; The Beijing Design Museum, Beijing, China and many more. The artist was born in 1971 in China and in 1995 Graduated from the Jiangsu Xuzhou Engineering Institute (Arts & Crafts).
Liu Jin. (China, B. 1971).