A recurring interest in contained and transitional spaces pervades much of my practice. Works oscillate between a questioning of the boundaries between inside and outside and the familiar and unfamiliar: seeking to explore spaces and states that are ‘between’ or ‘beyond’.
Pages 1-4 are inspired by the contained worlds of shop window display: Through careful cropping and masking of the products and brand names the spaces are designed to showcase, these staged worlds lose both their context and purpose. Our focus shifts to backdrops suddenly made less familiar. The background is brought to the fore, the subliminal revealed.
Denied their function, these constructions are left to stand alone as theatrical installations - a strange mix of formalist, minimalist and kitsch aesthetics. Plinths stand empty, whilst posters hang advertising nothing. Strange shadows are cast from unseen products, whilst fluorescent lights shine futilely within the black ‘censored’ space (the masking seen as part of the image).
The viewer is drawn into these mysterious expanses of black - an emptiness that speaks of an absence of the ‘desirable’ product and the void within us that consumerism both creates and tries to fulfil.
Page 5: This recent and ongoing series of works further plays with the my continued interest in shop window display and contained and staged spaces. Resulting pieces lie somewhere between minimalist art installation, empty stage set, designer interior and box of Christmas decorations. Appropriating items from the shelves of stationers; DIY merchants; jewellery stores and charity shops, these familiar assorted items are rendered ambiguous and seductive via context and juxtaposition. The works are at once cool and sophisticated, kitsch and frivolous: A Christmas bauble evokes a Kapoor; a perspex pencil case a Judd…Ultimately the works operate in the artistic tradition of everyday items re-presented in contained and magical little worlds - Cornell being an obvious exponent.
Pages 6-7: These works focus on my long held interest in whitewashed windows – transient drawing boards that more often than not bear a name, a face – a touch and an affirmation that we were there – that ‘we are here’. The intimate monochrome photographs explore sign and symbol, surface, mark making and the need to leave our trace.
The show is a reflection of Liu Bolin's multifaceted and complex view of contemporary society and culture. The critically acclaimed and internationally renowned artist will release the first works of a new series, Hiding in California.