Untitled
Untitled

LIU JIANHUA (B. 1962), 2002

Details
Untitled
LIU JIANHUA (B. 1962), 2002
Signed in Chinese and dated ‘2002.11’ (on the underside)
16 1/8 x 11 x 4 ¾ in. (41 x 28 x 12 cm.)
Provenance
Private collection, New York.

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Lot Essay

Liu Jianhua began his training as a ceramicist at the age of fifteen. In his career as an artist he has transformed the meaning of porcelain into one that reflects the social and economic changes in contemporary China. While his body of work also includes more traditional Chinese ceramic forms, it is Liu’s erotically-posed women in cheongsams that have become his iconic emblem. By miniaturizing these female figurines, Liu literally objectifies the women. Through this subject matter, he breaks down “the stereotypical view of Chinese culture, novelty-seeking vision, and opportunist mentality within contemporary art.”

The work presented here is one of Liu’s classic headless and armless supine female figures dressed in high heels and traditional cheongsam. The artist perfectly captures the sexualization of the female body through his choices in form, palette, and clothing. In the absence of a face or arms, viewers are deprived of any context or narrative explaining how the subject has arrived in this position. The audience is left in limbo as to whether they are voyeurs of a consensually intimate moment or witnesses to a terrifying act of sexual aggression. Liu Jianhua’s work has been exhibited around the world including at the UCCA in Beijing, Singapore Art Museum, and the Queens Museum in New York.

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