Tanya Bonakdar Gallery is pleased to present Isolated Above, Connected Down, a solo exhibition by Liu Shiyuan. This is the Chinese new media artist's first major solo exhibition in the United States. On view from February 22 through April 7, 2018, the exhibition introduces Liu's latest major works, including a large-scale video installation in the first floor gallery, a series of six photography works in the second floor main gallery and a felt-carpeted room installation in the project space. Together these pieces demonstrate Liu’s core visual vocabulary—which references that of the cyber and the vernacular—and embody her inquiry into the relationship between mass culture, language, identity, and particularly the misconception, miscommunication and hybridization of meaning and discourse.
At once familiar and perplexing, personal and universal, Liu’s work blends together a myriad of apparent as well as hidden details and messages. Her vocabulary, uniquely heterogeneous and delightfully tongue-in-cheek, is born through her experience growing up in a rapidly globalizing China, and as a young cosmopolitan member of the Chinese diaspora. A constellation of found, made, visual and textual elements, Isolated Above, Connected Down simulates an intensified, satirized microcosm of a world inundated with commercial, popular and internet cultures. In this world, we are surrounded by fictional, truthful, manipulated and unedited content from known and unknown sources, all of which have thoroughly permeated one another. The 'real' is no longer discernible from the orchestrated, and ‘original’ meanings become lost in this permeation process. For Liu, meaning and value are largely arbitrary and fabricated through history, and therefore precarious. Subverting these existing modalities of definition and communication, and contesting the desensitizing allure that prevails in mass culture, Liu organizes her content in ironic pairings and peculiar combinations, prompting the viewer to observe closely and ponder curiously. With this, the artist hopes to awaken truer feelings and more acute sensibilities in the viewer.