Liu Ye (b.1964)

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Liu Ye (b. 1964) lives and works in Beijing. He came of age during the Cultural Revolution, a period between 1966 and 1976 when all art was at the service of the state and individual expression was explicitly forbidden. However, he had access to a collection of banned books kept hidden by his father, a children’s book author, including a selection of Western fairy tales. He went on to study industrial design and mural painting at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing (1986-89) before moving to Germany to pursue a Master of Fine Arts at the Hochschule der Kunst in Berlin (1990-94). He later spent time in Amsterdam as an artist-in-residence at the Rijksakademie, where he encountered works of art by Piet Mondrian, Johannes Vermeer, Paul Klee and Dick Bruna. Affected by the color schemes and patterns of Mondrian and the colorful illustrations of his childhood, the artist developed his own distinguishable style and started painting playful cartoon-like characters in an adult environment. In 2007, Kunstmuseum Bern hosted his first major solo exhibition in Europe, which was followed by an exhibition at the Mondriaanhuis in the Netherlands (2016). The artist’s work has been included in important group shows at the Wereldmuseum, Rotterdam (2011-12); the National Art Museum of China, Beijing (2012); the Long Museum, Shanghai (2012-13); the Yuz Museum, Shanghai (2014); and the Venice Biennale (2017). Liu Ye’s paintings are represented in public and private collections worldwide, including the China Art Museum, Shanghai; M+ Sigg Collection, Hong Kong; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Shanghai Art Museum; Today Art Museum, Beijing; and the Yuz Museum, Shanghai.