This curated collection of paintings by renowned Chinese artist, Liu Xiodong spotlights China's Three Gorges Project, the workers who built it and the lives it disrupted along with insightful commentary on about Chinese society.
A figurative painter with an understated touch, Liu Xiaodong (born 1963 in Liaoning province, China) is one of China's leading and most passionate artists. He has found a way to chronicle—without cynicism—what might be called the psychic landscape of a society in transition.
The Three Gorges Project: Paintings by Liu Xiaodong features large scale oil paintings that focus on China's massive Three Gorges Dam project on the Yangzi River. Under construction since 1994, the Three Gorges Dam is the biggest building project undertaken in China since the Great Wall, and will be the world's largest hydroelectric facility. Yet the dam, scheduled for completion in 2009, has stirred intense worldwide debate, both for its environmental and social impact on the land and population along the river.
In 2003 Liu began working on a series of mostly large canvases in which the massive Three Gorges Dam serves as an allegory of the spiritual cost of material progress. Documenting an extraordinary moment in Chinese history, the monumental artworks presented in The Three Gorges Project poignantly address the project's equally significant physical and social impact on the region and its population.
About the Author
Jeff Kelley lives in Oakland, California. A practicing art critic since 1977, he has written reviews and essays for such publications as Artforum, Art in America, and the Los Angeles Times. From 1993 - 2005 he taught Art Theory and Criticism at the University of California, Berkeley, and edited/authored two books on Allan Kaprow published by the University of California Press. Kelley was also the Consulting Curator of Contemporary Art at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco from 1998 u 2008, where he developed the museum's contemporary exhibitions and publications programs, organizing exhibitions by Chinese artists Sui Jianguo ("The Sleep of Reason," 2005), Liu Xiaodong ("The Three Gorges Project," 2006), and Zhan Wang ("On Gold Mountain: Sculpture from the Sierra," 2008). In addition, Kelley curated the popular and critically acclaimed "Half-Life of a Dream: Chinese Contemporary Art from the Logan Collection" for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2008), and currently functions as an advisor on Chinese art to the Logan Collection.