Liu Shiyuan
b. 1985

Born in 1985 in Beijing, Liu Shiyuan is now based in both Beijing and Copenhagen. Having grown up in China during a phase of unprecedented technological advances, global commercialization and popular culture assimilation, and later traveling and living between etween China, the U.S. and Europe, Liu adapted and cultivated an innate sensibility unique to the contemporary Chinese diaspora. Active since 2007, Liu’s practice explores a complex, transcultural 'identity confusion'—a lack of any specific identity confinement, so to speak, wherein one’s lived experience and self-understanding derive from fluctuating components of rationality and mystery, reality and fiction. Employing both found and made material, her work makes satirical and exaggerated use of de- and re-contexulized, unassuming fragments extracted from or mimicking the internet and the quotidian, speaking of an emerging, and in ways increasingly disoriented, generation born into an information matrix that tells the story of who they are and what they desire. Despite her Chinese nationality, Liu’s perspective isn’t defined or constrained by any one cultural subjectivity. Rather, her life and work together embody a young and provocative approach entrenched in and responding to a world of social and digital ’nomads’ in the making. 

Liu Shiyuan received her MFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts, New York in 2012, and BFA from Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing in 2009. Her work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions around the world. In 2005, the YUZ Museum Shanghai held a solo presentation of her monumental photo-based installation As Simple As Clay. Her solo presentation My Paper KnifeLocal Futures, Alter-Circuit was also featured in the Asia Contemporary Art Week 2014 in San Francisco. In 2014, she received Honorary AIR Award from Kala Art Institute, San Francisco, and in 2012, the Paula Rhodes Memorial Award, New York. Her solo presentation at Frieze New York 2016 received a special commendation in the inaugural Frame Stand Prize.

Liu’s work has been featured in group exhibitions at key institutions internationally, such as the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; K11 Art Foundation, Hong Kong; Pino Pascali Foundation Museum, Polignano; Foundation Louis Vuitton, Paris; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Whitebox Art Center, New York; Dimensions Variable, Miami; Long Museum and Aurora Museum, Shanghai; OCT-Contemporary Art Terminal and He Xiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen; and Vermillion Sands, Copenhagen, among others.

In 2017, Liu’s large-scale video installation work The Best is Yet to Come was featured in Cold Night at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, and her installation work This Way or That Way was shown in .COM.CN, an important group exhibition co-hosted by K11 Art Foundation & MOMA PS1 in Hong Kong, curated by Klaus Biesenbach and Peter Eleey. This Way or That Way will also feature prominently in an upcoming group exhibition titled Welcome to the Jungle at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf from March 2 through June 24, 2018. Other main group exhibitions include The King and the Mockingbird, Vermillion Sands, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2016; Yinchuan Biennale 2016—For an ImageFaster Than Light, Museum of Contemporary Art Yinchuan, Ningxia, China, 2016; SHE—International Women Artists Exhibition, Long Museum, Shanghai, China, 2016; Tutorials, Pino Pascali Foundation Museum, Polignano, Italy, 2016; BentuChinese Artists in A Time of Turbulence and Transformation, Foundation Louis Vuitton, Paris, 2016; Unordinary Space, Aurora Museum, Shanghai, 2015; CAFAM Future, Central Academy of Fine Art Museum, Beijing, 2015; Now You See, Whitebox Art Center, New York, 2014; 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale, OCT-Contemporary Art Terminal, Shenzhen, 2012; stillspotting nyc, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, among others.