A Slap in Wuhan
2010, single-channel video, color, sounds, 5’ 9’’
On the pedestrian street in Wuchang District, Wuhan City, Hubei Province, Li Liao closed his eyes, waited for a slap in the face from the perpetrator who volunteered online. After the slap, Li Liao continued to keep his eyes closed until the perpetrator left.
Single Bed 01 (Optics Valley)
2011, performance, single-channel video, color, sounds, 24’ 02’’
In a public space, Li Liao cleaned up a single- bed sized area on the ground, for him to sleep till he would wake up naturally or by an unexpected interruption. This performance project was carried out four times: on an intersection on Guanggu Pedestrian Street, inside an ATM hall, beside Meadow Lake, and in a small playground.
2011, performance, single-channel digital video, color, sound, 126’ 39’’
At a random office building in Wuhan, Li Liao requested someone who worked in the building to lock him downstairs. Li Liao would be released after the person got off work.
Born 1982 in Honghu, Hubei; lives and works in Shenzhen
Li Liao’s art practice has always been intricately connected with life. As always, he puts into practice his concern for the real problems that plague society, applying “communal participation” to practicing what he preaches in micro-level social systems and in concrete circumstances. In his art, he actively blends in or purposefully contradicts existing rules and customs, thus evoking a rethinking of experience. Through a job interview at the Foxconn Shenzhen facility in 2013, Li Liao ended up working for 45 days as a conveyor belt operator. He used the earnings of this job to purchase an iPad mini, and created a performance piece entitled Consumption. In that same year, he started a project called Art is a Vacuum, for which he found inspiration in a quarrel that took place in his daily life. “I’m not myself, or otherwise put: I am two versions of myself. First, there’s the self that makes the artwork, and secondly the self that is incorporated within the artwork. I casually designed a game based on an idea that runs counter to my understanding: namely the assumption that art can change reality. I completed the instructions of this absurd game step by step. It appears that a big part of the fun came from observing my own awkwardness within the game.”
Li Liao received his BFA in oil painting at Hubei Institute of Fine Arts in 2005. Recent exhibitions include Hack Space, K11 Art Foundation Pop-up Space, Hong Kong, China (2016); What About the Art? Contemporary Art from China, Qatar Museums Gallery Al Riwaq, Doha, Qatar (2016); Habits and customs of ____ are so different from ours that we visit them with the same sentiment that we visit exhibitions, Kadist Art Foundation Paris, Paris, France (2016); 3rd Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art, Ekaterinburg, Russia (2015); Surround Audience, New Museum, New York, USA (2015).