9 March – 12 May 2012
North Gallery II and 9 x 9 x 9, Bermondsey, North Galleries, Inside the White Cube | Bermondsey
In the practice of Beijing-based artist Liu Wei (b.1972), the rapid expansion of his surrounding urban environment in China and the world at large is explored through a variety of media, including sculpture, painting and installation. In this exhibition, using found materials such as printed matter and salvaged timber frames, Wei created visionary forms of architecture in two major sculptural installations. In the North gallery, ‘Untitled’ (2011) featured an abstract metropolis emerging from a rocky outcrop. This erupting chaotic and futuristic city, sculpted from a free-standing block of stacked paperback books, points towards the accelerated development of China’s social infrastructure and in hand, its potential destabilization and dystopic devastation. In the central 9x9x9 gallery, ‘Merely a Mistake II’ (2012), Lui Wei continued this architectural concern by restructuring a surplus of reclaimed wooden door frames and paneling, pre-painted in a variegated household palette of retro shades of light blue, green and brown. This soaring seven-metre high assemblage echoes the vertical ribbed vaults, flying buttresses and spires of Gothic cathedrals or of palaces, yet Lui Wei reinterprets these multi-layered polythedron forms as fractured imaginary facades, spiritually resonating the chaos of cultural demolition and construction.