Using pencil as her main medium, Hu Liu often takes several months to complete a single drawing. In her works, multiple layers of pencil markings densely weave together an opaque, almost abyssal “surface” where substance and space, light and darkness enter into a zone of indistinction. As a result, the viewer cannot perceive the entirety of her drawing from a fixed position, but has to get up close, move away, and then walk about the work in order to access what lies at the limit of its visibility. This immersive and memorial mode of seeing transports the viewer to an arcane dimension of experience in which the physiognomy of ten thousand things becomes disclosable in a flash. Furthermore, due to the dispersion of light by the graphite, it is nearly impossible to reproduce Hu’s drawings through mechanical or digital means; one must confront her works in person and see for oneself.
Hu Liu was born in Xinyang, Henan Province. Graduated from Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts in 2004, she currently works and resides in Beijing. Main exhibitions include: Cartier Foundation of Contemporary Art: A Beautiful Elsewhere, The Power Station of Art, Shanghai (2018); Hu Liu: Dark Wave, ShanghART, Shanghai (2017); 10th Shanghai Biennale “Social Factory”, Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China (2014); ON/OFF, Collective Practice in China, UCCA, Beijing, China (2012); Shanshui, Museum of Art Lucerne, Luzern, Switzerland (2010); The Temperament of detail, The Red Mansion Foundation, London (2007); Refresh: Emerging Chinese Artists, Shanghai Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Beijing (2007); Jellytimes, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2007). In 2013, Hu Liu received the award of 2013 New Youth Pioneer Artist of the Year.