Between East and West: “Storytelling” by Chinese painter Liu Ye


Between East and West: “Storytelling” by Chinese painter Liu Ye


Prada presents “Storytelling”, a solo show by Chinese painter Liu Ye curated by Udo Kittelmann, with the support of Fondazione Prada. The exhibition opens to the public at Prada Rong Zhai in Shanghai, from 10 November 2018 to 20 January 2019. Here 30 paintings, realized from 1992 and painted by Liu Ye, will be exhibited.

  Liu Ye works express an intimate and sensual imagination which is based on history, literature, art and cultural differences between West and East. It creates an imagination of purity and suspension, where small details of fairy-tales, sense of humor and parodic vein interact with each other.

An artist underlines that “every work is my self-portrait”. Here he combines different elements, what makes his paintings seem generated by a plurality of creative forces: memory, observation, imagination and artistic education.  All his works seem suspended between two worlds: reality and invention, in this part people have a space to interpret and look from different perspectives.

One of the most individual feature of Liu Ye’s initial approach was the collision of anachronisms, typical of an individual got lost in a foreign culture: the opposite between modern art motives and old masters’ quotations, western cultural references associated to Chinese cultural icons. The autobiographical nature of his work assumed another connotation after his return to his homeland from Europe in the late nineties. Based on it, his visual stories don’t progress logically, they are based on contrast as a collage of different forms and languages.

Liu Ye’s paintings is like manifesting a dialectical constellation, for his work is not only interwoven in many ways with China’s manifold cultural developments, but also bears witness to a profound knowledge of the history of European culture and painting.

Within the decorated spaces of Prada Rong Zhai, Liu Ye’s enigmatic works will get a new meaning, engaging a dialogue with the architecture and the unique atmosphere of this historic, early 20th century mansion, which was originally conceived as a place of encounter between European and Chinese traditions.