Earth in My Hands, Fire in My Heart

LIU XI

19th April - 2nd June 2019

191 South Suzhou Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai, China, 200002

Art+ Shanghai Gallery is proud to present a solo exhibition by an emerging and ambitious Chinese female artist and sculptor Liu Xi "Earth in My Hands, Fire in My Heart."

With her works widely exhibited abroad, including Portugal, Spain, Norway, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Korea, Liu Xi finally reveals a series of porcelain and glass works for her very first solo exhibition in mainland China. Behind the organic yet grotesque shapes of creamy pastel, charcoal black, and tantalizing pink porcelain sculptures, Liu Xi enwraps her intimate considerations on life, interpersonal relationships, intimacy, love and understanding of others along with one's female self.

It is the urgent need to reflect upon her life experiences, blissful moments of enlightenment and stupefying uncertainty; it is the quietness of contemplation and bewilderment of obsession; it is the feeling of entanglement, inflicted by ignorance; it is the breathtaking freedom, extorted from the fearless yet painful process of facing herself that drive her sculptural practice.

In her hands, ceramics acquire sinuous curves and voluptuous shapes that appear to run fluidly into clusters of delicate formations. Her intimate pieces echo with the rococo heritage of porcelain, reimagined and informed by the meticulousness of Chinese porcelain techniques and traditions. The biomorphic shapes of her works are derived from studying laws and forms of nature, human’s anatomy, textures of material, combine a concentration of asymmetry, fluidity, organic morphology, and dynamic - almost palpable - poetic rhythm.

Among such is "Our God is Great," one of Liu Xi's latest series included in the showcase. The installation of charcoal black porcelain sculptures of floral and vulvar forms, laid flat in front of the viewer, overtly reference female genitalia. In such a bold attempt to expose the tantalizing and daring sexual side of femininity, Liu Xi emphatically appeals to women. In the wake of #metoo movement reaching every corner of the world, a young female artist stresses the importance of illuminating the power of women’s awareness of the full spectrum of their femininity, which enables them to address their needs, desires and ultimately, rights in the most honest and unbiased way.

The notion of femininity dominates Liu Xi's artistic practice. Born in the Northern province of Shangdong in China in the late '80s, her upbringing has coincided with the time of one-child policy implementation and consequential gender disparity. Being born a girl, in the society that was systematically programmed to favor sons, Liu Xi was automatically exposed to the biased environment of gender inequality even before she came into this world. This has propelled her desire to find her voice, speak up and sculpt a new world for herself and others, devoid of inequality, violence, discrimination, and outdated social structures.

Advancing on her journey of breaking through the withstanding, obsolete and stereotypical, Liu Xi creates the series "Where Are We Now?" sculptures. The basic three-dimensional shapes, such as cubes, spheres, cylinders, pyramids, and cones, are 'wrapped in fabric’ as if intentionally hidden by the artist. Defying outdated principles, rules, and hierarchical power structures, Liu Xi refutes standardized rigidity, straight lines and 'sharp corners’ of regular shapes, that for generations have been privileging ones and causing pain and discomfort to the others. The act of draping the geometric figures adds another dimension that is synonymous with the free flow of life and intuition against the rigid deformation of dogma and the inflexible mimesis of the world. Liu Xi goes in favor of the irregular and curvilinear that welcome questions and doubts from the inquisitive minds about the existing state of affairs.

Among other series presented for the exhibition are wall installation "U, U, U, ME, ME, ME" in which Liu Xi explores the essence of interpersonal relationships, "Mala Leche" where she speculates on the nature of being a human, and “Undergo” series in which the artist remarks on the purifying and upbringing power of struggle and pain.

A strong and daring voice of this young female artist resonates with every twist and curve of her creations. Her sculptures are glazed with the impeccable craftsmanship and sensitive, artistic observation that appeals to the audience emotionally, intellectually and sensually. As if she is clay herself, fired and solidified by the scorching circumstances of reality, she is an exquisite work of her inquisitive mind, passionate heart, restless spirit, and dogged persistence.

RECOMMEND

Art+ Shanghai Gallery is proud to present a solo exhibition by an emerging and ambitious Chinese female artist and sculptor Liu Xi "Earth in My Hands, Fire in My Heart."

With her works widely exhibited abroad, including Portugal, Spain, Norway, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Korea, Liu Xi finally reveals a series of porcelain and glass works for her very first solo exhibition in mainland China. Behind the organic yet grotesque shapes of creamy pastel, charcoal black, and tantalizing pink porcelain sculptures, Liu Xi enwraps her intimate considerations on life, interpersonal relationships, intimacy, love and understanding of others along with one's female self.

It is the urgent need to reflect upon her life experiences, blissful moments of enlightenment and stupefying uncertainty; it is the quietness of contemplation and bewilderment of obsession; it is the feeling of entanglement, inflicted by ignorance; it is the breathtaking freedom, extorted from the fearless yet painful process of facing herself that drive her sculptural practice.

In her hands, ceramics acquire sinuous curves and voluptuous shapes that appear to run fluidly into clusters of delicate formations. Her intimate pieces echo with the rococo heritage of porcelain, reimagined and informed by the meticulousness of Chinese porcelain techniques and traditions. The biomorphic shapes of her works are derived from studying laws and forms of nature, human’s anatomy, textures of material, combine a concentration of asymmetry, fluidity, organic morphology, and dynamic - almost palpable - poetic rhythm.

Among such is "Our God is Great," one of Liu Xi's latest series included in the showcase. The installation of charcoal black porcelain sculptures of floral and vulvar forms, laid flat in front of the viewer, overtly reference female genitalia. In such a bold attempt to expose the tantalizing and daring sexual side of femininity, Liu Xi emphatically appeals to women. In the wake of #metoo movement reaching every corner of the world, a young female artist stresses the importance of illuminating the power of women’s awareness of the full spectrum of their femininity, which enables them to address their needs, desires and ultimately, rights in the most honest and unbiased way.

The notion of femininity dominates Liu Xi's artistic practice. Born in the Northern province of Shangdong in China in the late '80s, her upbringing has coincided with the time of one-child policy implementation and consequential gender disparity. Being born a girl, in the society that was systematically programmed to favor sons, Liu Xi was automatically exposed to the biased environment of gender inequality even before she came into this world. This has propelled her desire to find her voice, speak up and sculpt a new world for herself and others, devoid of inequality, violence, discrimination, and outdated social structures.

Advancing on her journey of breaking through the withstanding, obsolete and stereotypical, Liu Xi creates the series "Where Are We Now?" sculptures. The basic three-dimensional shapes, such as cubes, spheres, cylinders, pyramids, and cones, are 'wrapped in fabric’ as if intentionally hidden by the artist. Defying outdated principles, rules, and hierarchical power structures, Liu Xi refutes standardized rigidity, straight lines and 'sharp corners’ of regular shapes, that for generations have been privileging ones and causing pain and discomfort to the others. The act of draping the geometric figures adds another dimension that is synonymous with the free flow of life and intuition against the rigid deformation of dogma and the inflexible mimesis of the world. Liu Xi goes in favor of the irregular and curvilinear that welcome questions and doubts from the inquisitive minds about the existing state of affairs.

Among other series presented for the exhibition are wall installation "U, U, U, ME, ME, ME" in which Liu Xi explores the essence of interpersonal relationships, "Mala Leche" where she speculates on the nature of being a human, and “Undergo” series in which the artist remarks on the purifying and upbringing power of struggle and pain.

A strong and daring voice of this young female artist resonates with every twist and curve of her creations. Her sculptures are glazed with the impeccable craftsmanship and sensitive, artistic observation that appeals to the audience emotionally, intellectually and sensually. As if she is clay herself, fired and solidified by the scorching circumstances of reality, she is an exquisite work of her inquisitive mind, passionate heart, restless spirit, and dogged persistence.

RECOMMEND