Liu Ye: Storytelling
Liu Ye: Storytelling travels to Milan following its first presentation at Prada Rong Zhai in Shanghai in 2018. The upcoming exhibition features thirty-five works dating from 1992 to the present. Both shows have been organized by Udo Kittelmann, a German curator and director of the Nationalgalerie in Berlin. Whereas in Shanghai the works were presented in the context of a restored historical residence originally built in 1918, in Milan they will be viewed in Fondazione Prada’s contemporary industrial environment.
Drawing on both his childhood memories of China and his early education in Europe, Liu Ye's carefully balanced, methodical compositions play on perspective and ways of seeing, while also referencing a diverse range of aesthetic, literary, and cultural sources. Following his painting studies at Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts, the artist attended the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin. He then spent six years living and studying in Europe, which included a six-month-long residency in 1998 at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam.
As Kittelmann states:
I experienced his paintings as sensitive pictorial messages relayed between two worlds that are often viewed as contradictory: Western cultures versus Asian cultures. Even back then, Liu Ye’s paintings struck me as manifesting a dialectical constellation, for his work is not only interwoven in many ways with China’s manifold cultural developments; it also bears witness to a profound knowledge of the history of European culture and painting.
Image: Liu Ye, Bird on Bird, 2011 (detail)