ShanghART Singapore is pleased to announce a solo show by emerging Chinese artist Liu Yi. Flowing Feast presents a series of Liu's extraordinary Chinese ink animations, in the form of multimedia installations, alongside the artist’s original hand-painted animation stills. This is the first time the artist is exhibiting in Southeast Asia. The exhibition opens on Friday, 12 May 2017 and runs through 13 August 2017.
Liu’s unique visual format applies traditional cel animation techniques to Chinese ink painting. Every frame is rendered in Chinese ink, at a rate of 12 frames per second (f.p.s). In this painstaking process, Liu produces thousands of studies and paintings for each animation. Liu’s ink strokes are light and agile, fusing contemporary and classical styles. One of the animations on view, A Crow Has Been Calling for A Whole Day, took Liu almost a full year to complete. Taking the form of a travelogue of Liu’s trip to India in May 2016, the 12-minute film is an innovative combination of documentary footage and Liu’s flowing Chinese ink animations, reflecting Liu’s love of India, her recording of everyday life, and her encounters with love, desires and death. Over the course of her travels, the universality of the traditional practice of hanging clothes and bed-linen in the sun to dry left a deep impression on Liu, as a symbol of the lives of ordinary people all over the world, whether in India, Shanghai, or Singapore. For this work’s installation, Liu recreates a grouping of hanging cloths, using them as screens onto which her animations are projected. The blurring, obscuring and overlapping of visions across these fabric curtains create a sense of ambiguity and mystery, and transform the gallery into a theatre of light and shadow. Crow is a celebration of the eternal cycle of life and its primitive vitality. Liu's dynamic vision flows between light and shadow, reality and fantasy, moderation and excess, creating a harmonious whole. The work was exhibited at the 3rd Shenzhen Independent Animation Biennale in 2016 and screened in competition at the 20th Holland Animation Film Festival (HAFF) in 2017.
Origin of Species, another hand-painted animation on view, is a playful metaphor depicting the biological evolution of life over two billion years. The artwork takes its starting point from the ancient forms of simple prokaryote bacteria and the movement of their flagella, which are the microscopic mechanical structures that enable motion. The work is a surrealistic meditation on the evolution of life from destruction of matter to its creation and rebirth into new forms, transcending the individual and illuminating the universal, primordial building blocks of life.
About Liu Yi
Liu Yi (b. 1990) graduated from China Academy of Fine Arts (Hangzhou) in 2016 and lives in Hangzhou. She works on topics related to China's early art, film and experimental animation using installation, painting, sculpture, and text. Selected works include Origin of Species, Chaos theory, a Travel Inward, Into the Void, and A Crow Has Been Calling for a Whole Day. Recent exhibitions include A Travel Inward - Liu Yi Solo Project, MoCa Pavilion special Project Shanghai (2017);SOW, ShanghART M50 Group Exhibition (2017); the 3rd Shenzhen Independent Animation Biennale (2016); Fly Without Wings, V Art Center, Shanghai (2015); The 8th International Ink Art Biennale Of Shenzhen (2013); 10th China Independent Film Festival, Xiamen (2013); Limited Knowledge, Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre, CMC Gallery (2013); 9th China Independent Film Festival, Nanjing (2012).