The Word for the World — Liu Ding's Solo Exhibition
2022.08.27 - 2022.10.02
Artists: Liu Ding

In the past decade, Liu Ding's works demonstrate that the tradition of realism continues to thrive powerfully today, not in its formal language but in an absolute conviction of the individual's relevance to the world. In his recent works, he revives the spirit of realism rather than imitating or representing remnant phenomena. At a time in history when understanding reality and the world is becoming increasingly complex, more direct contact with all things and emotions are particularly urgent. All details of his life provide the raw material for his art practice, collecting traces from the news, the city he lives in, the art world he belongs to, and the historical archives, capturing the invisible inflections and asking questions about the motivations behind the phenomena. His works bear witness to his life, deep thoughts, and position. What Liu Ding engages in is representing reality through artistic means, to discover words that would reiterate and interpret the world. He confronts reality as much as explores many forms of its representation.


The theme of this exhibition, "The Word for the World," draws from an eponymous series of works created since 2020, continuing the artist’s consistent and up-close attention to and reflection on reality and history. In 2015, Liu Ding translated his profound perceptions of our time's seismic transformation into a series of poems with features of symbolism. These poems document his observations and reflections on the social scenes of the time. Since 2016, he has been making a series of paintings that integrate excerpts of his poetry, words, and news with collages of everyday images and painterly vocabulary. Liu Ding compounds news images, diaristic photographs, and texts with digitally drawn graffiti on a computer and prints this hybrid image on paper before......