Girl and Boogie Woogie (Lot 1388) is a unique piece that showcases this way of expression. It builds up a binary relationship - that of "a painting within a painting", and of "a viewer viewing a viewer". By laying the square work of Mondrian at the center of the canvas, the artist intends to produce a reverberation, as well as a contrasting, front-back spatial relationship, between Mondrian's square and his own rectangle. The canvas seems as if a window that opens up a three-dimensional hall of exhibition to the audience. We peep in, and find the little girl looking at Mondrian's piece. "Window" is a significant concept in Liu's works; we are able to look outside, to however far a realm, unboundedly, when we open the "window". Such symbol seems to have captured Liu Ye. His early works like Wie Gemalt (Prefect-Paint), narrates the window straightaway; in Little Girl and Boogie Woogie, the concept is concealed, permeated through the composition of the work, with the frame itself transformed into a metaphor. In this way the artist interprets and defines his judgment of art. The work, thus, is another metaphor for art appreciation, which alludes to a profound, rudimentary subject on aesthetics. As we gaze at the back of the little girl, we seem to have perceived her concentration and become mindful of being quiet and unobtrusive. Shrewdly manipulated, the composition of this work contrives neatly a spatial imagination that leads the audience to feel the tranquility the artist posits to it; and this is an application and reformation of Mondrian's principle of spatial construction with the use of points, lines, planes and shapes. It is through these ways that Liu transfigures the work of Mondrian into his own symbol. Such transfiguration insinuates a direction to appreciate and understand his art, and on top of that, it opens up a space for comprehension, pertaining to the artist's contemplation on spatial logic beyond the image he creates.
Liu Ye is always passionate about fairy tales, and they become a major theme of his art during the period when he worked on Hans Christian Andersen in the Snow: after Albert (Lot 1389). Painted in 2005, the work demonstrates another facet of his creation and his artistic endeavor, which differs from those previously mentioned. Liu was greatly affected by his father, a writer on children literature, who risked taking home foreign fairy tales, particularly those of Hans Christian Anderson, for his son. As a child Liu Ye used to open the suitcase behind closed door and sneaked a reading of those fascinated books. Over and again he read them and copied the illustrations, immersing himself in the otherworldly thoughts of a child. Hans Christian Andersen in the Snow is naturally a candid reflection on and conversion of the artist's own experience of growing up. Hans Christian Anderson, the renowned author who brought to life those well-known characters like the Little Match Girl and the Little Mermaid, made fairy tales an avenue in which wholesome ideals - that human keeps their good nature and hopes amid austerities - were transmitted and spread. By transforming Anderson into a symbol, Liu Ye conveys such ideals through image and visual experience, expressing his long-held affection for universal human sentiment and their state of existence. Fairy tales are, in essence, a spiritual zone of comfort; they elucidate wisdom in a pure, conventional way and bring peace and strength to our mind. Composed in blue, the work arrays a stratum of colors ranging from the pale-blue background to the navy-blue overcoat of Anderson. Distinctly layered and precisely delineated, the work describes the consummate skills of the painter and its realistic style. Pale blues are comparatively rare in Liu Ye's productions, and while it suffuses the canvas with a melancholic wisp of sadness, the air of brightness and good spirits is retained. Altogether they play a strong note on the theme of "sorrow and joy". Investing his own subjective feeling in colors, Liu Ye reveals the symbolic meanings of colors and especially the power they can yield. The resultant style of representation is a blend between realism and color expressionism. The circle frame, likewise, seems to be adapted from the old silent pictures or Japanese cartoon, at the end of which the whole screen turns black except for a circle frame that features the expression of a character in close-up. Such expression, being acculturated to Hans Christian Andersen in the Snow, gives a humorous, pleasant aura to the work, and at the same time implies the influence of geometric shapes over aesthetics, which in general is an illustration of the logic of structuralism.