The Shape of the Real: Liu Xiaohui
“The Shape of the Real: Liu Xiaohui” is a monograph and a case study focusing on contemporary painter Liu Xiaohui’s practice over the past decade. The substantial publication of more than 30,000 words written by art critic and curator He Jing brings together over 100 reproductions of Liu Xiaohui’s paintings and a large number of documents made and used in the creative process. It is published by Culture and Art Publishing House and will be available from June 2021.
Via ten interconnected chapters, this monograph delineates a topographic map of Liu Xiaohui’s art, providing an insight into the painter’s singular creative journey, touching upon a series of problematics regarding the ontological aspect of contemporary painting. These questions all pertain to the “Real”, which is the absolute theme of Liu’s painting, and to the diverse, uncertain creative forms that arise from this theme. Accordingly, the monograph is edited, composed, and structured in an unconventional fashion, by presenting textual and critical “fragments”, and by presenting an additional layer of dynamic hermeneutic texts that include the artist’s notes, historical references and images. It aims at approaching a capitalised “Shape of Real” on both the dimension of the textual and that of the image – a “Shape” that at once concerns painting, book and writing. It attempts to outline an experimental form of artists’ publications emerging between the conceptual and the methodological, research and criticism.