Lisson Gallery

Watch now: 'The Art of Liu Xiaodong - Man and Machine' on HENI Talks

15 March 2019

Liu Xiaodong tackles the challenge of portraying emotional sensations in material form. One of China’s leading figurative artists, he has always aimed to paint the truth as objectively as possible. But can this ever be completely realised?

Weight of Insomnia is a new series of paintings, which were recently exhibited together at Lisson Gallery, London. Liu uses a machine programmed to capture movement in public spaces and translates this to marks on canvas. The machine has no heart, no desires, no ulterior motive. It does not sleep but obeys its instructions for as long as the artist decides. And yet the results have a strange power to move us. It seems that, despite all efforts, subjectivity can never truly be extinguished.

Join Liu as he discusses this latest painting project, the conflict and changes in Chinese society that have influenced his artistic approach and how we might all be affected by the ‘weight of insomnia’.

The Art of Liu Xiaodong: Man and Machine was produced by HENI Talks, an ongoing series dedicated to sharing insights about art history on film from leading artists, curators and academics, to learn more click here.

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