ESLITE GALLERY is preased to present “LIU Xiaodong in Indonesia” from 13 December 2014 to 18 January 2015. The solo exhibition will include over 20 works on paper and canvas that LIU Xiaodong made earlier this year in Indonesia. Liu Xiaodong has left his footprints all over the world. This includes the construction workers of the Three Gorges Dam, sex workers of Thailand, survivors of the Wenchuan earthquake, and soldiers from both China and Taiwan. This time he went to Indonesia, and attempts to capture onto canvas the past and present of Indonesian Chinese from a neutral and calm perspective.
Approximately seven or eight years ago, Liu Xiaodong visited Indonesia and attended a lavish banquet thrown by an overseas Chinese in his mansion. There Liu saw women in qipaos and high hairdos learning Michael Jackson movements from a dance instructor, while the men walked on the side with their wine. It seemed as if time solidified in the 70’s. In Indonesia, overseas Chinese control the economy, but do not mesh well with the locals. “Like living on a luxurious cruise in a vast ocean, they leave home with their car, and never stroll down the highly guarded streets,” Liu observed. In the 19th Century, the Dutch murdered 500,000 Chinese living in Indonesia to crush their attempt of independence. During the 1960s, the Indonesians killed close to a million Chinese, and in 1998 were the Anti-Chinese riots where many more were slaughtered. The Chinese that were killed were thrown into Red River right in the middle of Jakarta, and the water ran red. “People may not forget the past, or maybe they aren’t grieved by it, but perhaps trees and plants have a memory of it all.” In the end, Liu chose to paint women of high society dancing as they held their empty partners, fallen coconuts scattered on the ground like skulls, and Red River with a street lamp planted in the middle of the water. He calls the series, “Memory Trees”.
In addition to paintings and drawings, ESLITE GALLERY will be screening documentary film Liu Xiaodong in Indonesia by Chinese director Yang Bo every Saturday afternoon during the exhibition period. In the film, the camera follows Liu like a third eye, capturing stories that took place during Liu’s painting of Indonesian Chinese. On December 14 there will be a special screening of this film and Liu Xiaodong’s Hotan Project followed by an artist/director talk in Screening Room, 6F of eslite Xingyi Store.
About the exhibition
Dates: Dec 13, 2014 – Jan 18, 2015
Opening: Dec 13, 2014, 14:00, Saturday
Venue: Eslite Gallery
Courtesy of the artist and Eslite Gallery, for further information please visit www.eslitegallery.com.