The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Friday, October 24, 2014


Ullens Center for Contemporary Art Ends 2010 on a High Note with Liu Xiaodong's Hometown Boy
Liu Xiaodong, Jincheng Airport, 2010. Oil on canvas, 300 x 400 cm. Courtesy of the artist.
BEIJING.- UCCA opened one of its last exhibitions of the year (Nov 17, 2010 – Feb 20, 2011), Hometown Boy by Chinese painter Liu Xiaodong. With 26 new oil paintings, over 200 pages of framed diary entries and an in-depth documentary film by famed Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Hometown Boy offers UCCA visitors an intimate and unprecedented look into the life and artistic practice of one of China’s most acclaimed artists.

“The body of work that fills these three rooms…”

UCCA has always been committed to breaking new ground with innovative exhibition methods, and Liu Xiaodong’s Hometown Boy is no exception. For this exhibition in three parts, co-curated and co-produced with Minsheng Art Museum and The Institute, UCCA’s Big Hall has been divided into three separate spaces, each highlighting a different facet of Liu Xiaodong's work.

The first space is devoted to over 200 framed pages of Liu Xiaodong's diary entries produced during his return to his hometown of Jincheng. Written on paper produced by the local paper mill and filled with notes, captions, sketches and photos, the dairies are a record of Liu Xiaodong's daily activities, plans, encounters, thoughts and impressions. Within these pages, visitors will find amusing anecdotes, keen observations, background stories, recollections and biographical sketches of the artist's childhood friends.

The second space is the “painting room,” where Liu Xiaodong’s 26 new Jincheng paintings are displayed. The smallest canvases (33 x 38 cm) are mainly studies for larger paintings, or still-lifes of some detail that triggered a memory of the past. The medium-sized canvases (140x150 cm) are paintings of Liu Xiaodong's childhood friends in settings that reflect their lives today: Xiao Dou smoking a cigarette in a pool hall, Chengzi hanging out at the karaoke club he runs, or Liu Xiaodong's former martial arts teacher Master Xiao on duty at the police station where he currently works. There are also four large canvases (300 X 400 cm) depicting groups of people in settings that hold a special significance for the artist because they illustrate how time has altered the face of his hometown. “Jincheng Airport,” for example, shows Liu Xiaodong's friends playing cards in front of a decrepit fighter plane that was once Jincheng’s pride and joy, the centerpiece of its (now neglected and weed-choked) public park.

The third and final space is the black-velvet-curtained “screening room,” where Hou Hsiao-Hsien's documentary film, also titled Hometown Boy, will screen at regular intervals with Chinese and English subtitles.

UCCA Director Jé rôme Sans designed Hometown Boy as a multifaceted exhibition because he felt it was the best way for audiences to understand the range of Liu Xiaodong's artistic practice. “Liu Xiaodong approaches his work very much like a filmmaker,” Sans writes in his introduction to the exhibition, “documenting each step of the creative process and recording his methods, motives, observations and impressions, so that each component forms an integral part of the final work. He is the artist-as-director: the people he paints are his actors, and we, the observers, are the audience…the result of his homecoming is the body of work that fills these three rooms.”

“This time, I’ve decided, I’m really going home…”

“This time, I’ve decided, I’m really going home.” Thus begins Liu Xiaodongs artist statement, which explains the reasoning behind his Hometown Boy project. “In 1980, when I was seventeen, I left my hometown... [Now it has] been invaded by high rise buildings, and the friends I knew in childhood have gotten fat. I once painted their portraits because I was hoping to get into art school. Now, thirty years later, I am painting them again, hoping that I can finish their portraits before all of them are laid off.”

Liu Xiaodong’s hometown of Jincheng is a small town located in Liaoning Province in northeast China. Life in Jincheng has always revolved around the local paper mill, built during the Japanese occupation and later retooled to meet the needs of the newly-established People’s Republic of China. From the 1950s to the 1980s, the mill employed thousands of workers and produced paper used to print everything from schoolbooks to the quotations of Chairman Mao. In recent years, however, economic competitions, industrial restructuring and environmental issues have led to massive layoffs at the mill and other changes that have fundamentally altered the life of the town.

Exhibition co-curator Guo Xiaoyan, Chief Operating Officer of The Institute and Vice-Director of Minsheng Art Museum, writes: “Hometown Boy is in no sense a nostalgic narrative or a remembrance of things past. It is a somber ode to the here and now. By going home to paint, sketch and observe the people and places of his childhood, Liu Xiaodong must confront a range of complex emotions and questions. The landscape is familiar, but the people have changed.”

UCCA Art Department Director Zheng Yan characterizes Hometown Boy as “Liu Xiaodong’s most conscious effort yet to create a dialogue between past and present. His boyhood years in Jincheng will always hold a special significance for him, but the home he returns to is not the home he remembers: thirty years of socioeconomic change have altered the face of Jincheng, not necessarily for the better…”

A “documentary homecoming” by Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-Hsien One of the most unique aspects of this exhibition is the related documentary project by Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien, who accompanied the artist to Jincheng to record his homecoming experience on film. For Liu Xiaodong, documenting his artistic process is nothing new: he has collaborated with many filmmakers in the past, and is comfortable working in front of the camera and painting, as it were, “on set.”

“[UCCA Director Jé rôme Sans] suggested that we find a really great Chinese director, and Hou Hsiao-Hsien is about as talented as they come,” Liu Xiaodong explained in a recent interview. “I have tremendous respect for him as a director, and as someone who has a deep understanding of people, life and art. His involvement really increases the power of these paintings, because they all have a ―back story‖ that needs to be explained. The film helps deepen our understanding of the paintings and makes the project much more complete.”

Hou Hsiao-Hsien describes the process of making the in-depth “documentary homecoming”: “In May 2010, everyone involved in the project met up to discuss the plan for shooting the documentary film Hometown Boy. That included Liu Xiaodong, the exhibition curators, the film crew and Yao Hung I, who I had appointed to be location director and cameraman. From there, the crew did a reconnaissance in July, and started shooting in August. Everything was based on seeing facts objectively, with a straightforward yet lighthearted viewpoint. Yao would act as Liu Xiaodong’s ―third eye,‖ recording the whole amazing process…”

“Painting from life” gives local subjects a global resonance

For over two decades, Liu Xiaodong has been crisscrossing China and the globe, travelling to familiar and exotic locales to “paint from life.” In the process, he has amassed a body of work that Jeff Kelley, an independent art critic and curator, has described as “the psychic landscape of the new China.” Kelley writes that although Liu Xiaodong’s settings are often commonplace, the occasions he paints banal, “the pedestrian faces and prosaic postures of Liu’s subjects testify to a China filled with hope, ambition, cunning, bewilderment, anger, indifference, longing, and despair. They are the old faces of the new China, and they embody the weary countenance of history.”

Alexandra Monroe, senior curator of Asian art at New York’s Guggenheim Museum, writes: “Liu takes road trips to far-flung places—the unofficial sites of national or communal identity—to become immersed in the act of seeing. He sets up his transient studios in the open air, laying out his screen-sized canvases on the ground of his chosen sites, and, walking barefoot over the expanse of his compositions, palette in hand, paints directly from life. […] His paintings are imbued with the immediacy and informality of the documentary snapshot, trained on the unpretty sights of bleak but strangely prophetic communities.”

“These Jincheng paintings,” concludes critic Jeff Kelley, “provide a familial content for all the other psychic landscapes Liu has painted as an artist. They remind us that his paintings, however global their resonance, are profoundly local.”

Ullens Center for Contemporary Art | Beijing | Liu Xiaodong |




Last Week News

December 28, 2010

Archaeologists May Have Found the Earliest Evidence Yet for the Existence of Modern Man

Belvedere Pays Tribute to Valie Export, a Pioneer of Media art, with Exhibition      

John Warhola, Brother of Artist Andy Warhol and Museum Founder, Dies at Age 85

Afghanistan: Crossroads of the Ancient World at the British Museum Highlights Discoveries

Ara Pacis Pays Tribute to Marc Chagall on the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of His Death

Exhibition at Fotomuseum Winterthur Looks at Photographs of Labor from Its Collection

The World of Lucas Cranach, One of the Greatest European Painters of the 16th Century at Bozar

Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Exhibition from Its Collection

New York and Other States Scrimp on Civil War's 150th Anniversary Celebrations

Policies of the Hispanic Image Examined in Exhibition at Centre de Cultura Contemporania

Museu d'Art Contemporani in Barcelona Exhibition Asks: Are You Ready for TV?

Graham Nash to Visit Eastman House, to Be Named George Eastman Honorary Scholar

Fitzroy Gallery Present Country, a Solo Exhibition of New Work by Gerry Judah     

Fore! Gary Wiren Golf Memorabilia Collection to Come to Lighthouse ArtCenter

New Exhibits at Chicago's Hull House Museum

Every Tree Tells a Story: Photography Exhibition on View at Center for Contemporary Art in Newark

Donation Agreement for the Pietzsch Collection Signed at the National Gallery in Berlin

Park Avenue Armory to Present Tune-In Music Festival

December 27, 2010

Salvador Dalí Exhibition in Milan has Welcomed More than 222,000 Visitors in Two Months

Christiane Amanpour Talks with Photographers Elliott Erwitt and Roberto Salas

Tate Liverpool Presents One of the Most Innovative Artists of the 20th Century

Galerie ACTE 2 Presents Exhibition of Photographs by American Artist Melvin Sokolsky

Unauthenticated Art of the Russian Avant-Garde on View at MCA in Denver     

Museum Kunst Palast Dedicates Major Solo Exhibition to the German Artist Klaus Mettig

Things Get Ugly, Sensual and Raw with "The Wild 80s" Exhibition at ARKEN in Copenhagen

Art Gallery of Hamilton Features Canadian Artist Andrew McPhail's "All My Little Failures"

A New, Vetted Art Fair Focused on Emerging Artists and Galleries to Be Held in Washington

Guest Curator and Artist Explore the Collection of the Musée d'art Contemporain de Montréal

Olympic Documentary Filmmaker Bud Greenspan Dies at Age 84 in New York City

Vincent van Gogh: The Letters Available Again in a Limited Number of Copies

Spectacular Digital Moving Image Installation for Canary Wharf Underground Station

Moscow Museum of Modern Art Presents a Solo Exhibition of Works by Andrei Monastyrski

13th Annual Postcards From the Edge Exhibition and Sale: International Artists Fight AIDS by Donating Artwork

Exhibit Opens on Curious George's Wartime Escape

Photographer Bernard Faucon, a Pioneer of Tableaux Vivant Tradition, at the New Orleans Museum of Art

Mississippi Museum of Art and Historic Natchez Foundation Present Natchez Day

The Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture to Have Terence Riley as Chief Curator

December 26, 2010

Thieves Try to Sell 800,000 Euro Eduardo Chillida Sculpture for 30 Euros to Scrap Metal Yard

Museum of the Confederacy Opens Civil War Message, Decodes It: No Help Coming

20th Century Financial Titan and Top Modern Art Collector Roy R. Neuberger Dies at 107

Forty Photographs by Photographer Jeanloup Sieff at Bernheimer Fine Art Photography

More than 350,000 have Visited the First Exhibition in Mexico Dedicated to Moctezuma II

Selection of Vintage Gelatin Silver and Polaroid Prints by Albert Watson at Hamiltons

Exhibitions: Pablo Picasso Zurich Exhibition Recreates Landmark 1932 Show

Art Antiques London 2011 on Track to Repeat Success of Last Year's Inaugural Fair

"Seasons" Exhibitions Celebrate the Importance of Seasons in Chinese and Japanese Art

Donald Ellis Gallery to Unveil Rare Eskimo Masks at New York's Winter Antiques Show

In Time for the Holidays, Art Gallery of Ontario Opens Family-Friendly Exhibitions for Holidays

German Artist Manfred Pernice Develops Sculpturama Show Especially for the Secession

Architect and Engineer Dov Karmi Featured in Exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Details Announced for 5th FORMAT International Photography Festival at QUAD Derby

New Exhibition at the Arnulf Rainer Museum, Baden: Anrulf Rainer's Visages

New York State Museum Exhibits Works by Leading Printmaker Frank C. Eckmair

Berlin: Sediments of a City by Mona Breede at Galerie Dittmar in Berlin

The Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2011 to Present: Fia Backström & Andreas Eriksson

New Exhibition in China Celebrates Three Decades of British Art

Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston Exhibits Works by a Founding Member of Fluxus

December 25, 2010

Bethlehem, the Traditional Birthplace of Jesus, Celebrates Merriest Christmas in Years

Police Searching for the Thief Who Tunneled into a NYC Home and Stole Art

Jasper Johns Awarded the Julio González Prize by the Government of Valencia in Spain

Porcelain Masterpiece to Be Returned to Heirs of Former German Prime Minister

De Hallen Haarlem Presents the Dutch Premiere of The Krazy House by Rineke Dijkstra

National Gallery of Denmark to Present Country's Largest Art Collection in Three Stages for 2011

Thematic and Chronological Survey of Nan Goldin's Work in Berlin at the State Museum of Modern Art

Exhibition Dedicated Exclusively to Contemporary Cutouts at Hamburger Kunsthalle

Provocative Portrait of Photographer Francesca Woodman, Her Artist Family, and Tragic Demise

Detroit Institute of Arts Unveils New Hand, Shadow, and String Puppet Gallery

New Abstract Works by New York Painter John Zinsser at Graham Gallery   

Classic Images, Desirable Portraits, Contemporary Art Among Top Lots at Swann Galleries' Auction

Karola Kraus' Inaugural Press Conference and Introduction of the MUMOK's 2011-2013 Program

Metropolitan Museum Celebrates the Holidays by Opening on "Holiday Monday" December 27

Getty Villa Announces Exhibition that Presents Early Photographs of the Holy Land

Newark Museum Recieves $500,000 Challenge Grant from National Endowment For The Humanities

National Gallery of Canada Appoints Neo-Classical European Art Expert as Its Chief Curator

Christie's Appoints New Asian Business Development Director Reaffirming Christie's Long-term Commitment to Asia

December 24, 2010

Pera Museum Presents Works by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera from the Gelman Collection

Exhibition of Forbidden City Treasures Goes on View at Metropolitan Museum in February

Christie's Celebrates American Artistry and Craftsmanship with Exceptional Offerings

In Its Inaugural Year, artMRKT San Francisco, Aims to Be a Premiere International Art Fair

Electronic Info Dominates George W. Bush's Archive, 20 Times the Clinton Administration's

Majestic Sculpture on View in New York City to be Auctioned at Naples Winter Wine Festival

The Museo del Prado Publishes First Multi-Interactive, Online Video Relating to Art

Bertoia's Auction Chalks up $1.6 Million in Sales of Fine Toys, Trains and Christmas Antiques

That's Kate Middleton? Critics Slam Commemorative Wedding Coin Issued by the Royal Mint

A Group of Forty Spanish Artists Demand that the Chillida Leku Museum Remains Open

In New Commitment, Polymer to Break New Ground at Racine Art Museum in Wisconsin

Bruce Museum Highlights Its Collection of Kashmir Shawls in Exhibition

Los Angeles Downtown Art Walk Announces Appointment of New Executive Director

Field of View: First Solo Exhibition of Eelco Brand in Cologne On View at Gallery [DAM]

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Presents Agents of Change: What Follows Will Follow II

Artist Alison Elizabeth Taylor Inlays Classic Technique into Contemporary Vocabulary

South Carolina Archaeologists Say Confederate Wreck Found

Museum of the Moving Image Announces Full Schedule of Screenings and Special Events for its Grand Re-opening

Goddess of Love Emerges into Foaming Cypriot Row

Display Showcases Two Key Smithsonian Figures

December 23, 2010

Valentino's Timeless Glamour and Elegance Featured in Exhibition Opening in Singapore

City of Boston Targets Tax-Exempt Non-Profit Organizations to Help Fill Budget Hole

Detroit Institute of Arts Opens New Gallery Devoted to Ancient Middle Eastern Art

Smithsonian Scientist Sheds Light on Origin of Martian Moons, Phobos and Deimos

Earliest Known Darrow Monopoly Game Set Acquired by National Museum of Play

World's Most Iconic Vodka Collaborates with Artist Krink to Launch Absolut Limited Edition

Major Exhibition of Picasso's Work from his Early Paris Period to be Held in the Netherlands

The Pobeda Gallery Presents an Exhibition by Editorial and Art Photographer Charles Thompson

Country Club Presents Another Mise-en-Scène Exhibition Curated by Michael Lowe

Olafur Eliasson Develops New Installation Specially for ARKEN's Most Striking Gallery

Entrance of Winter Illuminates Rock Painting in Baja California Archaeological Site

Morris Museum Exhibition Features the Michelangelo of Medicine, Frank H. Netter, MD

ICA Boston Announces Amie Siegel as the Winner of the 2010 James and Audrey Foster Prize

Image of Francis Bacon, One of Ireland's Top Artists, to Sell in First Irish Art Sale at Bonhams

Reagan Memorial Idea Splits Berlin Long After Wall

Smithsonian Acquires Lifetouch Donation for Photographic History Collection

Maria Lind has Been Appointed the New Director of Tensta Konsthall

Bidders Drawn to Unique Works by Contemporary Artists at Swann Galleries' Auction of American and Contemporary Art

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Image of a Christ without a beard, short hair and wearing a toga unearthed in Spain

2.- Giant mosaic unearthed in mysterious tomb in Amphipolis in northern Macedonia

3.- Bonhams sale of 18th century French decorative arts to benefit Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

4.- Paris flustered by erection of 'sex-toy' sculpture; Paul McCarthy slapped by a passer-by

5.- High art or vile pornography? Marquis de Sade explored in Orsay museum exhibition

6.- 'Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection' opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

7.- Greek culture minister says Elgin Marbles return a matter of 'global heritage'

8.- Vandals deflate Paris 'sex-toy' sculpture by American artist Paul McCarthy after outrage

9.- Exhibition at National Gallery in London explores Rembrandt's final years of painting

10.- 'Hans Memling: A Flemish Renaissance' opens at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome

Related Stories



Ullens Center for Contemporary Art Ends 2010 on a High Note with Liu Xiaodong's Hometown Boy

Zhang Huan's Hope Tunnel Opens at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art

Olafur Eliasson and Ma Yansong at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art

"8 Key Figures of China's New Generation of Artists" to Open Exhibition

Ullens Center for Contemporary Art Presents Exhibition by Major Artist Yan Pei-Ming

Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing Presents Isabelle Huppert: Woman of Many Faces



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site