In October 2017, the Pompidou, Paris, one of the world's most influential museums of modern art, for the first time hosted a Chinese artist’s solo exhibition and academy seminar from Liu Youju.
Liu's solo exhibition in the Pompidou, Paris.(Photo provided to Newsgd.com)
As the founder of illusionist painting, Liu Youju entitled this exhibition "Phantom Space Meeting Pompidou". "I paint in an illusionary way, and the Pompidou is a museum of modern art, both are concerned with the modern.” Liu said.
Liu in his studio. (Photo provided to Newsgd.com)
Liu is also a Chinese calligrapher. He paints on rice paper with both ink and oils, and his works are thus distinct from both traditional Chinese ink paintings and Western oils. He creates curious and mysterious spaces and leaves a lot of room for the audience’s imagination.
Click the video to watch the exclusive interview ↓↓↓
John Sallis, an American art critic, said that the painting style of Liu Youju is neither of the East nor West, but is instead based on the beauty of human beings and represents a new trend in the contemporary art world.
In recent years, the illusionist paintings of Liu Youju have been exhibited in world-class art galleries including the Louvre, British Museum and Florence Academy of Fine Arts. His unique painting language has earned him a high reputation around the globe.
Barry Gardiner MP (third from right), a member of the British Parliament, the Shadow Cabinet Energy Minister and the Inter-Party Chinese Affairs Committee, accepted the donation of Liu Youju's work “Through the Millennium” on behalf of the National Assembly. The work has been permanently acquired by the British Parliament. (Photo provided to Newsgd.com)
Although widely recognized in both eastern and western art world, Liu says his paintings are deeply rooted in traditional Chinese culture. He owes his unique imagination to the picturesque scenery of his hometown Jiexi, a small city in western Guangdong.
The 63-year-old Liu still has vivid memories of distinctive shape of mountains and clouds in his hometown. Being raised in a large family of 9, he recalled that life was not easy and everyday was about farm work. But his mother would softly read and sing to his brothers and sisters every night as they lay on grass mats under bright moonlight. Nourished by songs throughout his childhood, Liu steadily accumulated a feeling for art and a positive attitude towards life.
Earlier this year, Liu was chosen by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as cultural exchange ambassador for 2018. He plans to invite artists from France, Italy and other countries to participate in an intercultural exchange art salon held in Guangzhou later this year. He hopes that there will be more dialogue between nations exploring the development of contemporary art.
"Art is always outside the box." Liu said.
Photo & video: Nanfang Daily
English edition: Wing, Sylvia, Phoebe, December, Simon Haywood
Click next page to appreciate more of his works.