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 Knife, Local 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.
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 was featured in a group exhibition titled Welcome to the Jungle at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf from March 2 through June 24, 2018. It is also included in the group show Art Patrons, on view at Qiao Space Shanghai from March 24 through Octorber 21, 2018.