Liu Wei: East

Liu Wei (ACC 2011)
Born 1972, Beijing, China; Lives in Beijing

East, 2020
Oil on canvas
120 x 120 x 4.5cm

Sold for HKD 1,375,000 (est. USD 177,400). Price includes buyer's premium.

Liu Wei received an ACC Fellowship in 2011 to engage with New York’s vibrant contemporary art landscape. Living, as Cai Guo-Qiang and his family did, in the historic Westbeth artist housing complex in Greenwich Village, Liu, who was an established artist at the time, had a rare opportunity for investigation and reflection.  Liu cherished having the time for visiting museums and art institutions in New York and beyond; the chance to interview fellow artists on their methodologies; and connection with the ACC community of artists. He also had the time and opportunity to explore other art forms—music, dance, and theater.  

By chance, Liu was in his temporary home in New York when the historic Hurricane Sandy hit the city, leaving him without power and in a community that lost major collections of artwork because of flooding. The experience of living through this disaster with the support of ACC and his fellow artists left a lasting impression on Liu and changed the way he thought about New York City. ACC prides itself in supporting artists across artistic disciplines. Liu Wei, himself, embodies an interdisciplinary spirit with an artistic practice that spans video, installation, drawing, sculpture, painting, and a wide variety of styles. His work also engages with themes across cultural contexts, in particular the urbanization and architecture of China’s cityscapes.

Liu Wei’s oil on canvas, East, showcases his signature use of color, repetition, and minimalism. In the late 2000s, Liu began creating paintings by generating patterns and pixels using computer software. The resulting patterns would then be applied to the canvas in a method he described in a 2014 ARTnews interview with Barbara Pollack (ACC 2006, 2015) as a “pure logic into color.” Christie’s, too, has interviewed Liu Wei, noting his deep understanding for “the complex connecting threads that link artists of different periods.” In donating East, Liu Wei has further strengthened the ties with his community in New York, and significantly invested in supporting the next generation of ACC grantees.

© Liu Wei Studio, © Eric G. Powell