Vanguard gallery

… Outside Painting


Artist:  Liu Fei

Duration:  2007/09/04–09/23

Venues:  Vanguard Gallery, Rm 305, Bldg. 21, 50 Moganshan Rd., Shanghai

Tel: +86 21 62993523






The empty canvas makes the painting look like a huge yet content-less frame hanging on the wall. Within the frame, all that is logically supposed to be there vanished. Liu Fei’s latest series Efforts beyond the Frame offer a body of incredible paintings that smashed stereotypes and voiced his own point of view. Moreover, the series have gone more direct, poignant, and right to the point this time.


The attempt to update his approach and to avoid any symbolic and logo-like works enables Liu to produce all different series. But one thing remains at the core of his art-making: thinking and questioning of various phenomenons in the domains of politics and arts. Due to his distinctive childish and introvert nature, Liu cannot and will not ponder upon these issues with a poker-face. Hence, some naughty, playful pieces take the place of the preaching, leaving artist’s thoughts behind the childish-at-first-sight paintings. Once dug out, the real meaning reveals more critical power and influence.


The soaring record of Chinese contemporary art in global auction houses has fuelled the booming of local market. All the media–whether big or small–have focused on this ancient yet emerging market. When artwork starts to enjoy the unprecedented attention, it comes to lose its nature of art and being commoditized. The totally commoditized artwork then enters a fully commercial operation similar to the operation of stock and many other investment tools.


In such an art finance-driven market, the entire phenomenon that could only appear in financial world hold firm grip. Then the image disappears from the canvas leaving only some shiny or simple frame to remind us that here is a piece of art.


Art is no other than an excuse.