Inside the White Cube
9 March – 12 May 2012
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, Liu 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), Liu Wei continued this architectural concern by restructuring a surplus of reclaimed wooden door frames and panelling, 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 Liu Wei reinterprets these multi-layered polythedron forms as fractured imaginary facades, spiritually resonating the chaos of cultural demolition and construction.
Beijing-based artist Liu Wei (b. 1972) works across a range of media and techniques, including photography, painting, sculpture and installation. The readymade is a recurring element in his practice, and his work is often assembled out of everyday found objects, such as ceramics, books, television sets, fridges and fans. The artist re-works these discarded materials, transforming them into sculptural objects and installations of layered complexity.FULL PROFILE