Liu Ye

About Artist: Liu Ye and all the artists of his generation were schoolchildren during the Cultural Revolution. They are now the first free generation of artists since the Communist Liberation in 1949. A major part of this generation's childhood memories stem from experiences, both horrific and enjoyable, of those fanatical ten years of the Cultural Revolution (1966-76). Luckily for Liu Ye the memories are happy. He excelled at the revolutionary dancing and singing he was taught as a youngster and dreamed of being a soldier or sailor and even a ballet dancer. It is these experiences which form the basis of his early paintings. As with other avant garde Chinese artists, Liu Ye is also reexamining himself and his position in the chimeric present day Chinese society. It is the search for the understanding of the individual which prevails in his works rather than of the collective, a concept which dominated Chinese thinking throughout the Maoist years and continues to do so even though somewhat diminished. His early works are imbued with a sense of the bizarre which is juxtaposed with innocence. There is a dark side among the gaiety and apparent simplicity. In his recent works, those of 2000 and 2001, Liu Ye pushes further with his examination of the dual face of Chinese society. His paintings of famous personalities from the world of the arts is driven by the idea that these figures have a public face which hides a very different private face. What the public sees is not the complete reality. The artist finds the similarity with his art, his own situation and that of his country overpowering. Most of his new works are painted with the characteristic humour of Liu Ye yet this is but the public face. - See more at:

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