Renowned artist to showcase contemporary Chinese art in NZ

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Liu Jianhua, one of China's best known contemporary artists, is preparing his first New Zealand exhibition at Dowse Art Museum of Lower Hutt in the kiwi- Capital city Wellington this week.

The exhibition Transfer will open on Feb. 20, with a talk among the artist and local Chinese scholars.

Liu Jianhua told Xinhua this Wednesday that the installations he brought to New Zealand would tell New Zealanders what is Chinese artist's thinking in a changing world.

Hanging white porcelain-- made daily life stuff on the wall, Liu Jianhua and his colleagues carefully place his famous project Regular Fragile in an exhibition hall. The project was shown at both the 50th Venice Biennale, Chinese Pavilion and the exhibition entitled "Alors, La Chine?" at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

"I used fragile porcelain to make the daily stuff like bags, hammer and bottles, etc. When you remove the color, they seems both familiar and strange," Liu Jianhua told Xinhua reporter, "it is a metaphor that our dreams and ideals are fragile too."

More than two years ago, Emma Bugden saw Regular Fragile in Liu Jianhua's studio for the first time.

"It is beautiful, absolutely stunning," the senior curator of Dowse Art Museum said. It is at that time that Bugden decide to bring this master piece back to New Zealanders.

"We, New Zealanders, want to understand about China. I strongly think art is a way beyond languages. Art is a language which is much more universal," Bugden said to Xinhua at the exhibition hall Wednesday.

"He (Liu Jianhua) is coming from a huge tradition of porcelain craft art making in China, which is thousands--years old; then he is bringing a really contemporary fine art. So his works speak to the history of old China, and also the huge changes occurred in China now. So for me he is really the perfect artist to bring to New Zealand," he said.

Regular Fragile, which consist of 1,500 items, is not the only installation that Liu Jianhua brought to Aotearoa. Square, which finished in 2014, is the other contemporary art that shipped from Shanghai to Lyttelton Harbor in South Island, and then to Wellington.

It is Square's first overseas exhibition. In this project, Liu Jianhua made water-drop like porcelain with golden color and placed them in black steel. As the artist explained, the fragile porcelain and hard steel together show the audiences a conflicting concept. By using an abstract expression, the installation is a way to show human thinking in the changing world.

As an international well-known artist, Liu Jianhua's work was exhibited in many countries. He said contemporary art is a significant way of culture exchanging with modernity.

"It is important to show glorious Chinese historical heritage to the world, but it is equally important to tell foreigners how is modern China like and how is Chinese contemporary art like," Liu Jianhua said.

The artist and his team have a tight schedule to put his two installations together before the exhibition start this Saturday. The exhibition will last till July 10, 2016.

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