THE JOURNEY SO FAR
The Chinese have a rich history of painting that is considered an enduring form of art and known all over the world. Traditionally, Chinese painting has been done on thin silk or rice paper, using various types of brushes, ink, and dye. The paintings cover a number of topics namely landscape, portrait, birds, flowers, insects, and animals. The traditional Chinese painting is called guo hua. It is done using a brush that is dipped in a black or colored ink usually on silk or paper. The traditional painting has also been done on porcelain, walls, or lacquer ware. Contemporary Chinese painting focuses both on the ...view middle of the document...
At the same time, his camouflage can be considered as an act of self-protection. Liu voluntarily integrates himself so that he can evade further the damaging forces. His act can be compared to that of some animals and insects, which undergo self-mutation by camouflaging to into their environment whenever they face threats. This appears to explain the original title of the work referred to as Urban Camouflage.
Liu as an immigrant in Beijing suddenly lost his work places, a place where he also lived. He realized that he could not change things, so all he could do at the time was to symbolically hide himself in the urban structures to avoid more harm. The protection was symbolic as Liu had once confessed that in human society hiding alone is not enough to create safety. The symbolic disappearance is strategy that the artist used to cope with the unfavorable reality and a way of expressing sense of vulnerability and powerless.
This performance was inspired by an unfortunate event that had occurred in the artist life. Early in the month of November 2005, unusual noises awoke artists in Suojia Village. A dismantling team with bulldozers had been sent by the district court ready to pull down studios. More than 100 police officers accompanied the team. The artists had sought for and received an official notification from the court announcing the demolition, but they had been reassured by their property owners that demolition would not occur after an appeal that was made to the local authority. Though some people had moved out after receiving the notification to demolish, others remained hoping that increased media coverage and protest were going to convince officials concerned to avoid the demolition.
Liu used his painting to show how Chinese authorities were cracking down contemporary artists due to their different artistic vision. Beijing municipal government claimed that it was reclaiming underused land for profitable development following commercialized urbanization that had been witnessed since the 1990s. The purpose of this piece of art was not merely an aesthetic, but to highlight the ills that the government committed against its citizens. The official enforcement notice indicated that the buildings where the studio compound was constructed was to be demolished because the company that owned the buildings failed to observe city authorities necessary construction requirements, such as obtaining permit. The artists were not aware of the illegality of their studios, so they protested and made an appeal to the authorities hoping that they would be spared because of the cultural significance of the art village. Artists have different ways of expressing their frustration and anger. Organizing an exhibition was a way of protesting demolition. It was at the exhibition...