Wei, Liu b.1972 / Jungle 1
about this work
Liu Wei refuses to give an explanatory statement regarding this work, insisting there is nothing to be said in words and that nothing can be said.  For the viewer, the standard terminology of “conceptual”, “installation”, “site” and other related phrases lose their descriptive meaning. Instead, Liu Wei’s work presents us with a vocabulary filled with uneven bars, large circular tables, rectangular pillars, canvas, scaffolding, large and small, vertical and horizontal, wrapped, bound, and cut so that he is able to find the logic behind his materials and the space they are displayed in. 

During the preparation of the work, there seems to be a conscious desire by Liu Wei to break free from his system applying his concept that “form is the most political”.  Although he often uses the word “reality”, we can be certain that he is not speaking about our conventional precepts, but rather the multilayered membrane of ideology and structure. 

The piece was displayed in Liu’s solo exhibition at Long March Space which housed multiple works in which he stretched, flattened, pleated, folded, crumpled or shaped dark green canvas over wooden supports. The works’ military colour and the exertion required to attain the rectilinear tautness in the material, the very hard creases and extreme adherence to the wooden supports, visibly nailed and bolted down, strike one with that prerogative of control. The formal structure denies the canvas’s customary use as a painting surface, as it suggests echoes of historic painters’ virtuosity in depicting the drapes and folds of fabric, rendered now with brutal tactility. The collective presentation of these works prompts thoughts of desert operations, nuclear exercises or experiments – the enterprises of some unnamed system.

From this perspective, we can easily understand Liu Wei's art is not just about visuality. More similar to early twentieth century Soviet constructivism, his work is a search for universal rational knowledge with strong spirituality. Speaking with Hans Ulrich Obrist, Liu said he was more concerned about control over the essence of each composition and was careful to not let one type of visual of tactile element dominate. On this basis, Liu is like a magician assigning each element a role to construct a "total work". 

Liu Wei (b.1972, China)

Jungle 1, 2012

Canvas and wood
180 x 225 x 40 cm
70 7/8 x 88 9/16 x 15 3/4 in.
Long March Space, Beijing, China Current Location:
USA - NY - Long Island, BRINKS (G4Si) Storage Mixed Media Wall WorkFar East


Long March Space booth, Art Basel Miami Beach
Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami, Florida
December 2013 - December 2013

Liu Wei: solo exhibition
Long March Space, Beijing, China
September 2012 - October 2012

related works / Far East / Mixed Media Wall Work