New York, 201 Chrystie Street & 536 West 22nd Street
Chinese artist Liu Wei emerged in his country’s then-bourgeoning art scene in the mid-90s. As a member of an art movement called Post-Sense Sensibility, Wei deliberately produced thematically and visually challenging art for Western tastes and expectations as a stance against the rising impact of Western politics on his country as well as on its art scene. As an artist working under the influence of China’s rapid urbanization, Wei heavily nourishes from ever-transforming cityscapes and the eventual changes in people’s daily lives. In this exhibition occupying Lehmann Maupin’s both Chelsea and Lower East Side locations, Wei furthers his association with installation as an immersive and contemplative experience, turning the audience into an element ofthe work.
At the Chelsea location, Wei orchestrates an ambitious installation of mirrors, benefitting from the material’s potential to deliver a psychological experience that absorb his viewers into a visually mesmerizing and introspective aura. Inspired by the line that reads, “Everything happens and nothing is recorded, In these rooms of the looking glass.” in Jorge Luis Borge poem Mirrors, Wei builds an interactive architecture that gains further momentum and depth as the viewers meander through mirror pathways, encountering their abrupt reflections generated by chance. “Previously, I thought that all things in life were predetermined and inevitable. Later in life, I learnt that there are, in fact, contingencies. We can enter a new realm by chance. It’s not about what we must achieve as a goal, but how – by choosing all the chances that are unpredictable to get to a certain point,” says Wei in a 2015 interview on Art Radar Journal when asked about the foundations of his practice. Chrystie Street location introduces another installation, this time comprised of industrial objects such as military canvas, metal, and wood. On the other hand, variantly shaped paintings on steel prompt the panorama of a horizon, circling the mixed-media installation with a view that recalls infinity.
November 2 — December 17, 2016