Liu Ye


Painter said...

Liu Ye @
Sperone Westwater
415 West 13 Street,
New York, NY 10014
(212) 999-7337

tumbleweed said...

This is very...cute. I do not know what to make of it!
Nice orange lips?

painterdog said...

this is interesting, it's very much like some of the Japanese artist who work in this vain.

The cute factor with a sardonic twist.

Fake Tattoo said...

are dimensions available on this work? somehow i'd like it more if it was a bigger work. more domineering?

painterdog said...

they are all small paintings.

I think this is in the 14x20 inch range

exu said...

the glasses are very glassesy

zipthwung said...

I like the elizabeth murray better.

Martin said...

me too, very very much.

kelli said...

This is so slight it is hard to discuss. The glassy glasses really are the best part. I would like it if they reflected something totally inconguent with the image like flames.

tomas said...

I don't know muc about the context this is made in but painterdog where do you see the sardonic twist?

Anonymous said...

Saw these first time in person when Station Gallery were looking after him. The Director and I had a good talk, because I was a little lost too!
These small things, with Mondrian paintings, were ratty, and kind of plain, had pika-pika jewel like qualities littered throughout them. He's since moved on to Tokyo's leading Gallery, so obviously has a hot European market. The work is more clear now, as to which camp it fits into. I would say Ye is very interested in the stumbling point, the place where the pinch and leaver loose their hold, thus shift the subsequent...

painterdog said...

I went the gallery site and the other work has some paintings that to me have this sligthly off thing going on.

zipthwung said...

preach it

this blog looks good

kokeeshi said...

I see a nod to tradition (expected I suppose) in the stereotypical characters (history in folk arts a well as in the figurines and mag culture)...and the small diminuitive scale speaks well to this aspect. These works are quiet and almost disturbingly so...(to my western eye). I wonder how they play in the motherland. Does it matter? Hmmmm. And is that drool?

kokeeshi said...

Blinded by white noise?

kokeeshi said...

These are sold at CHinese wal-marts with huge gilded frames along side bullfrog carcasses and Udon.

It's all true.

zipthwung said...


Maoism is a selling point I guess. Fight the power.

zipthwung said...

How is this any better or worse than Mark Kostabi? Can we get a kostabi up?

Scott Taylor said...

Similar to Lisa Yuskavage's paintings. Looking at the gallery's site ;a bit of unreal cuteness pervades. Can't take them seriously although I want to.

zipthwung said...

Its interesting because this image - this TROPE -is common, be it glasses or the black brim of a cowboy at high noon, or the hood of an acolytes robe.

THere are several issues that are identified with (asian/kostabi) art - true or not:

1) the academicism
2) lack of originality
3) (beaurocratic) conformity
4) didacticism

After visiting a Lichtenstein exhibition in Chicago, attorney Mark Weissburg wrote an article titled ``Roy Lichtenstein, Copyright Thief?" ``I was struck by the fact that Lichtenstein was never sued for copyright infringement," Weissburg wrote. ``Under copyright law if you copy a protected work without permission you are breaking the law . . . . The Copyright Act also prohibits what are called `derivative works.' These are works that play off of or incorporate or embellish another work. Virtually every one of Lichtenstein's paintings was either an out and out copy or at least a derivative work."


nutty professors

dead metaphors

wod zar xam said...

(she's) Blinding me with science....

Decay Image said...

The comparison with Kostabi is interesting. Though I detect an undercurrent of eroticism which never occurs in Kostabi and can momentarily pique my interest. But really this work is so similar to so much asian work, not only pop culturally like manga but also in someone like Nara, and half a dozen other asian painters that I have been too lazy to remember. Either its originality of tone doesn't translate, or I am being reflexively xenophobic. My gut feeling though is that there is an international hip pre-pubescent suberotic illustrational cuteness that American and European collectors can understand or simply love. They can get it and congratulate themselves for having an international all encompassing art sensibility. So major galleries can show the stuff for the same reasons, and then we as artists feel obliged to evaluate it in some way. But really this work has nothing to further a dialog about our issues as American artists.

JpegCritic said...

Must agree with Scott Taylor with the resonance
with Yuskavage..

It's in the weird way they stylize--

I see it as an inverse-of and the-same-as
Margaret Keane's "Keane Eyes" paintings --
Amplified cuteness...

But whereas Ye and Yus. spin-off on
the knowingness of thrift-store-cache and
Keane still seems like the keeper.

I must say, I've grown weary of yuskavage.
Ye, well, there's still the value of decorating
the homes in the next 12 issues of Dwell.
You know, in the light-filled nook, over
the light-filled bowl of fruit, next to the
light filled actionings of cool-folk.

Whereas Keane -- Ah yes. Hanging amidst
veneered wood paneled interiors, and smoky
enclaves where every surface is non-descript
and oh-so telling...

Which of each is the real-deal?

JpegCritic said...

i like this over Elizabeth Murray.
Goes better with my Cinema Display.

George said...

The trouble with references to Manga, is that Manga is almost always better. It is rooted deep in an Asian sensibility and has no pretensions, as it is an art form in itself. Somehow when east meets west everything gets screwed up and we get cute.

What the world needs now is "cute"?
Bury it with the corpses of the recently murdered.

Anonymous said...

Remember George Manga is Japanese--This artist is Chinese. Manga magnifies the flat, emphasizes line and contour to give rise to form.
Ye uses a strange mix of outline and blending color to create the form, similar to, as mentioned by Scott, a western way--Yuskavage, as close as you can get. But of course the concerns are very different. The paint usage seems particular to what is coming out of China recently, not mattering abstract of figurative. There is a western sense, and then there is not--the feeling, believe me, is very Chinese, plus a delicate and quite restraint, which is a little unusual.
Japanese painting is usually framed, well, gentle.

All Asian art looks alike, like all Asians look alike, right!?
The truth is, well--I met for coffee a friend I hadn't caught up with for over a year. I picked her waiting, she looked straight thru me. When sitting down she apologized, adding, of course, that was easy to make a mistake, after-all "All Western people look the same." Chuckles.

If you have seen Nara, know his work well, go see this show. You'll understand the 'no comparison'. Nara doesn't work with messages, it's all just what you see, the disparity.
Ye, blends codes, throws out simple information, or suggestion, very much to do with identity, politics, and The New Chinese, anything but heroic, but somehow is.

George said...


Yeah, I know the differences. It was late.
Asian art, in particular Chinese painting has a long history and as you know, can be incredibly subtle and refined. I still think the east meets west thing produces an odd result but it’s something which may play out over time. I don’t find cute appealing, east or west.

One area that interests me is Chinese writing. Since it is based more on combinations of symbolic forms rather than single tokens, I suspect that it might potentially have an affect on the way thought processes are expressed. I don’t have any proof, it’s just a speculation, but I would think their must be a different, possibly more refined or heightened relationship with the symbolic (pictorial forms) Does this make any sense? It’s just a thought, I need more coffee.

closeuup said...

Death March for Cutie?

kalm james said...

I hate to comment on work I haven’t see in person, but I think the discussion about cultural differences is interesting. One way of noting a culture’s essence it to look at its erotica. The Chinese practice of foot binding and its depiction has to be one of the strangest “fetishes” there is. I read a similar “restraint” and a bizarre kind of enforced cultivation of childhood in this image, like trimming bonsai trees, or 40 year olds wearing baby-doll dresses in role playing sex games.

A designer friend had a chair that he wanted to mass produce. He sent out blueprints to several factories all over the world to see who could make it the best and cheapest. When he showed me some of the proto types he’d gotten back it was amazing. Although all the examples were to factory specks I liked the model that was made in Italy, it stood out.. Something about it just had an embodied energy that said the people who mad it had a great feeling for the material and the tradition of woodworking. The example from China though mechanically the same just lacked somehow the same joy of manufacture. Maybe I’m nuts but I could feel the difference. That’s not to say that there isn’t a long and fantastic tradition of craft and art in China, but perhaps it has more to do with their view of mass producing product for Western markets. What does this have to do with this painting? I don’t know except that this cross cultural stuff is a lot more complex than it might appear. By the way, my friend went with the Chinese manufacturer, about half as expensive as the Italians.

no-where-man said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
no-where-man said...

went to the opening, they are not that small - this was not one of the most interesting pieces in the show, in life NIght's (5/8 x 67 inches) red shoe has an eerrie amazing effect.
Once Upon a Time in Broadway and Boogie Woogie, Little Girl - where the girl is looking at the Art are show very curious relationship between this Artist and Painting.

zipthwung said...

"The trouble with references to Manga, is that Manga is almost always better."

I was watching Catoon Networks manga stuff and its pretty trippy. Made by men for children, this stuff makes one yearn for the inner child.

Kostabis paintings have a flatness to them - an affectless effect. And they are faceless!

No Feckless!

Its like the twilight zone episode or ten where someone turns towards the camera, the mirror, "the and" and......

so in a sense we go back to maigritte, dont we? On the short buss? Inhabiting his studio, with its pipes that are not pipes, its bowler hatted people, its nights that are day?

I prefer works such as Michael Baldwin's:

"Map of Thirty-Six Square Mile Surface Area of Pacific Ocean West of Oahu" (1967)



Pacific rim, you give me fever.

painterdog said...

Kostabis paintings are done for brain dead consumers.

I read this account how he hid in the bathrooms at the new Moma to crash the opening, he was not invited, and spent hours siting on top of a tolet.
WTF! How sad is that... and it was on his web site that this story was told by non-other than the man himself.
Sad, so desperate to be part of the "art scene".

zipthwung said...

And yet the man makes millions in italy. I guess its the italian interest in craftsmanship that slave labor in China doesnt have.

My advice to you who are manufacturing your paintings in china - visit the factory regularly. Here's what to watch for:

1) Workers doing fun runs at lunch. DOnt be fooled, workers do not want to run at lunch. In an ideal world they would much prefer to eat lunch at lunch, and then go to a Crunch and do tai-bo.

2) Wokers working overtime. THis may seem cool to the average manhattanite working their way up the corporate ladder, but there is no ladder in a factory. In a factory there is a floor and a tin ceiling.

In conclusion, shouldn't we artists unionize? Isnt it time that artists use collective bargaining to cease the flow of QUALITY luxury goods to a class that neither cares about nor heeds our demands for INTELLECTUAL RIGOUR?

God help us all.

zipthwung said...

I Pod People

Decay Image said...

Has someone been demanding intellectual rigor? I would settle for that. Oh wait, isn't that how we ended up with all those monochromatic canvases? I guess you were being ironic, but still your ipod people article just points out how the forces of globalization are so all encompassing we can't even begin to think about how many lives touch our own constantly.

We assume a privileged intellectual position that doesn't exist anymore. We are not considering Liu Ye because of how good, or relevant his work is to our issues. The fascination with global art comes from a primarily imperialist place. But the center of the art world is shifting out of the US in front of our eyes for a variety of economic and political reasons. And the shift will be complete when the issues that inform Liu Ye's work seem compelling and relevant to our own. The privileged imperialism of our global power is biting us in the ass. At the risk of sounding like some flag-waving redneck racist(which I am not) on a certain level I don't want to truly understand this work too well because I think it coopts Euro-American painting. Which means it threatens to dilute those qualities that are unique to our experience and tradition. Or not. Perhaps this line of thought is too 20th century. But we are discussing painting after all.

JpegCritic said...

z, i think your statement
must have had an effect

closeuup said...

I have stopped using the word "we".

My ipod didnt work for too long.

Cooky Blaha said...

amy sillman talked at strand last week.anyone went? Marlene Dumas talking at Cooper Union on 23rd if anyone cares, and last but not least Zip's intimations were correct on Rhoades (as per artnet). Foot binding is is irrelevant to this painting...............................

Anonymous said...

Decay! That guy, Malcolm X, which part of Provincial France did his ancestors come from?
Before Chris sailed over I was told he got a fax saying, 'Quess what, Chris, it's inhabited!'

Yeah, I'd like to talk more, but probably, I think painter has in mind a new image.


JpegCritic said...

Decay... "the center of the art world is shifting out of the US in front of our eyes for a variety of economic and political reasons ... I don't want to truly understand this work too well because I think it coopts Euro-American painting"

Appreciate the honesty.

And you're right... Cultural dominacy
is indeed entwined with economic dominancy.
We will see a great shift before our eyes.

heidilolatheayatollah said...

weird.This made me think of Su-En Wong-her paintings-the cute objectified stereotype thing. Sometimes going as far as expoiting it themselves with no further illumination. The one called Strawberry was so cute, too cute, that it bacame not cute-morphed into annoyingly cute-like the child beauty contests and how annoying those kids are or like eating a fudge +marshmallow+ caramel topped sunday. Eh.

Decay Image said...

brent, there is no new image today. Although I assume we will be seeing Yuskavage soon. Saw her new show today, but I don't know if I'm ready for a discussion. I do think it is powerful work, and no comparison to Ye. That said I am not sure if she is breaking new ground here, but she has a pretty full plate. No one strikes this note. And the longing and sadness are poignant, the anger, which I think has been a big part of the work seems very subdued.

I wasn't talking actual ancestors here. Russian Jewish myself, but that is not very relevant to my painting culture. The painting culture that has informed my thinking for the last 30 odd years is not world wide. I enjoy the exotic, but my thought patterns are totally western. I practice Yoga, but I would hardly expect Iyengar et al to learn anything from my interpretation or it. I just think that all cross-cultural appropriation is imperialistic because of military or economic conquest, and I'm suggesting that our culture is the one being appropriated and fed back to us in a changed form that isn't helpful to us. Just as it wouldn't have helped African art in the early 20th century to study Picasso and company's cubist reformulations. I think this an apt analogy.

no-where-man said...

if you look at the rest of the show i see foot binding - also reflected in the almost "forced" cuteness. i was chatting with a film critic last night who was morning the antiquation of print, and intellectual rigor thru the recent layoff of another film critic at the Voice. She said they won't be replaced, because people just "don't care"