Liu Wei

Love It, Bite It
A Liu Wei Solo Exhibition

UniversalStudios-Beijing in cooperation with China Art Archives and Warehouse (CAAW) 2007.3.22-2007.4.20 Wednesdays-Sundays14:00-1800
Location: China Art Archives and Warehouse (CAAW)

 

'Love It, bite It' is a unique project which features 25 startling reproductions of architectural landmarks ranging from the Pentagon to St. Peter’s Cathedral, Tian’anmen to the Tate Modern. Exhibited together for the first time, they form a visual commentary on the symbolism and nature of power itself.

Be it a political, cultural, religious, or military landmark each of these works recreate in acute detail theimposing exteriors and architectural boldness of some of the world’s most iconographic and powerful buildings. Simultaneously they are more than mere recreations of external facades; each work is an appropriation of the political and cultural significance with which the originals are imbued.

The artist, however, questions our assumptions about these buildings by his choice of material: executed in ox hide (specifically the collagen usually employed in the production of dog chews) their significance and power is automatically subverted. The gnarled, coarse and yet plastic texture of the material allows for acute detailing and yet the final effect still manages to convey a sense of fragility and decay; the buildings are ultimately held together with twisted fibers and broken stitches.

In some places the stretched surfaces crack and contort, forcing the buildings themselves to sag, slope and collapse under the pressure of their own weight. Through these ragged and warped exteriors the artist forces us to re-examine the nature of these buildings and the power that we invest in them. He also provides a satirical commentary on the nature and production of power.

It is hard to define a stylistic tendency which ties Liu Wei’s work together. However, In ‘Love It, Bite it’ we again see the artist’s concern with issues of excess, corruption and aggression which underlie contemporary culture.

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