Liu Yefu in BIENALSUR 2023


Date: 2023.12.1-2024.3.31
Curator: Diana B. Wechsler

Liu Yefu’s video work “Hehemeimei” is on view in the online platform of BIENALSUR 2023.

In HEHEMEIMEI (from the Chinese “和和美美”, which means a beautiful vision of harmonious relations in Chinese culture), Liu created a future landscape, based on scenes of street life in Beijing, about globalisation, geopolitics, and economics. Liu conceives the notion of “global-local” in a secular and matter-of-fact language that poignantly addresses the conflicts between conservatives and liberals, elites and grassroots, as well as the reflexivity of ideology and their unanimous disregard for reality. In this video, Liu not only invented the conflict between the Ja-Lama (Danbiijantsan, 1862-1922) and Sven Hedin (1865-1952) in history, the boasting of old men playing chess, but also delved into the metaphorical and ambiguous relationship between the Chinese turtle and the national policy of “hide our capabilities and bide our time”. Liu visualises an imaginary in which war rages in the Indian Ocean. The sea lane that transports crude oil to the Middle East is cut off, so it is diverted through Pakistan to reach the ports of Kashgar. China’s intervention in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau brought the warm, humid Indian Ocean airflow into the Tarim basin, and Xinjiang has become China’s oasis again. A large number of immigrants from Asia crossed the Bering Sea, turning the Americas into the new “East”. By blurring the boundary between the notion of region and time, Liu illustrates the core values and the violent nature of the emergence of a modernisation process at the service of the state and national development.

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