NGV Triennial

Liu Shiyuan
Almost Like Rebar series



Liu Shiyuan works in photography, video and installation. In her work she is drawn to the everyday: snippets of overheard conversations; familiar, unremarkable objects and images; and the apparently endless stream of imagery on the internet. For her Almost Like Rebar series 2018, the three works included in NGV Triennial are constructed from a combination of images which have no apparent relationship, mimicking the random array of images that can be found through simple internet searches. In one work Liu has combined images of a croissant, a couple about to kiss, pottery fragments, a patchwork quilt, and a coloured grid. In another she has combined a gridded arrangement containing details of decorative ceramics, painted scenes, photographic images and a bonsai tree. In each work the seemingly randomly selected elements are unified by the gridded structure and her use of a limited palette. Describing her work Liu said, ‘In daily life I am attracted to simple things which everyone finds beautiful. In other words to the most basic concept of beauty – it’s not about how rich the colour is, or how modern or how minimal it feels, those are all about taste. Instead, I aim to show my understanding of things without changing their status.’ In the resulting works the artist has created aesthetically pleasing order from the fathomless chaos of the internet.

Liu Shiyuan studied at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and in 2012 she was awarded a Master of Fine Arts degree from the School of Visual Arts, New York. Since 2007 she has participated in numerous group exhibitions in China, the USA and Europe. Her first solo show, The edge of vision or the edge of the earth, was held at White Space Gallery, Beijing in 2013. Liu Shiyuan has works included in two forthcoming exhibitions: Welcome to the jungle, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, and An American City: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art in Cleveland