The rural idylls and fantasies of the Cultural Revolution recur in Liu Dahong's imagining and kaleidoscope-like realms and are presented as a grotesque urban reality to bemuse and terrify us. His artful marriage of folk and kitsch motifs from mass-produced New Years' paintings with popular political vernacular as seen through absurdity and satire reveals an era of anti-logic within the history of China when politics infused every aspect of life and society, including painting. Born in Qingdao to intellectual parents after the Great Leap Forward, the lugubrious mood of those times formed his style and his examination of cultural history and revelation of human weaknesses.
The Honeymoon (Lot 1205) exemplifies Liu's mastery in iconographic representation within this pantheon of historic and semi-mythical heroes and martyrs of the People's Republic orbiting in frenzy around Mao Zedong. Liu prefers simple narrative style ebulliently painted in brilliant colours that reveals a certain self-confidence and naivety, as if seen through the distorted lens of Pieter Bruegel. Golden Rules and Jade Precepts (Lot 1204) is a visual depiction of the anthem of the People's Liberation Army "The Three Disciplines and the Eight Points of Attention", each painted on a tromphe-l'oeil brick. Not only does it strike a chord in collective nostalgia, Liu adopts the proletarian forms of expression in promulgating socialist ideals and infuses it with unprecedented tension. The structure and historical significance of justice of an era are equally reexamined in The Meeting Hall (Lot 1203) and like all of his works, are met with visual eccentricity, intellectual humor and irony. Through these, Liu continue to form his own philosophy in painting versed at folk and political argot to express a concern for the fate of mankind and cultural history.