George Liu Zhen (刘震, a Chinese artist based in Shanghai, makes paintings, which explore the conflict he sees between individuality and modern culture. Looking back at his younger days in an environment of discipline and repression, Liu’s current art research looks at the fears surrounding the lack of self-expression and the presence of self-consciousness in the context of modern sociology.

For Liu, his life experiences have enabled him to reflect on his perception of reality; and through his art and his passion for raising attention to concerns with modern social issues, he is able to amplify the need for an awareness of social responsibility. Influenced by the language of post-modernism, Liu reinvents allegoric sentiment and critical contestation into his paintings to encourage a dialogue with the audience, regarding issues faced in a highly civilized modern society to achieve consensus. His passion is in addressing an over-saturated social media that blurs the boundaries between representation and reality, heightening the audience’s perception to interpret anything and everything in aesthetic terms. Liu wants to raise a conversation about the next phase of understanding with media, to have images which no longer function as representations, images without ambiguity and no intent to shape or reflect aesthetics, to be images of reality, as they are.

Liu questions his role as an artist when his paintings no longer have the ability to reveal a greater truth about the reality through images itself. In his current works, the explosion is the content but not the context. Beauty is ironically and unrealistically celebrated, especially in the deliberate framing of otherwise disturbing images with Liu’s exaggerated and distorted expressions hidden within the build-up of the layers in the ‘beautiful’ clouds of smoke.

Education

2016  Master of Arts Fine Arts, Goldsmiths, University of London/LASALLE College of the Arts
2014  Bachelor of Arts Fine Arts, Goldsmiths, University of London/LASALLE College of the Arts

Exhibitions

2017  Instinctive 1.0: (in)visible, ION Art Gallery, Singapore
2016  The Ocean Is Really Blue, Studio Kura Gallery, Fukuoka, Japan
2016  And the Rest of Such Things, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore
2016  The Great Lubricator: The Power of Image – The Image of Power, Societe Generale Gallery, Alliance Francoise de Singapour, Singapore
2015  Sweet Spot, Brother Joseph McNally Gallery, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore
2014  SPOT ART 2014, ARTrium@MCI, Singapore
2014  From the Ground Up, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore
2014  Affordable Art Fair Singapore, F1 Pit Building, Singapore
2013  Impetus, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore
2010  ARTivist, LASALLE College of the Arts, Project Space, Singapore
2010  East Coast Postcard Exhibition, LASALLE College of the Arts, Project Space, Singapore

Works