Liu Xiaodong: Hometown Boy
UCCA Big Hall
November 17, 2010–Februrary 20, 2011
Xiao Dou Hanging Out at the Pool Hall
Oil on canvas
Courtesy of the artist
This November, UCCA presents Liu Xiaodong: Hometown Boy, an intensive look into the practice of one of China’s most accomplished painters. For this solo show, created specifically for UCCA, Liu Xiaodong returned to his hometown of Jincheng in Liaoning Province to spend three months painting his family and childhood friends while documenting the experience through diary entries, sketches and photographs. In addition to the 20 new paintings and over 200 pages of diary entries on display, the exhibition also features a documentary about Liu Xiaodong’s homecoming by famed Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien. Through painting, writing and film, Hometown Boy offers an unusually panoramic view of Liu Xiaodong’s Jincheng memories, past and present.
When Liu Xiaodong left his hometown as an aspiring 17-year-old art student, Jincheng was a bustling little town where life revolved around the local paper mill. Three decades later, the physical, social and economic landscape has changed drastically: Jincheng’s narrow streets and houses remain, but the local economy has crumbled, unemployment is rampant, and years of environmental degradation have taken their toll. For the artist, it is a homecoming in which observations and depictions of the present are tinged with recollections of a vanished past.