International Star Shines at The Dowse for NZ Festival

Author: Katrina Smit, Communication & Relationships Manager

The Dowse Art Museum is pleased to announce that an exhibition by Liu Jianhua, one of China’s best known contemporary artists, will star as the museum’s offering for the New Zealand Festival in 2016. Widely exhibited internationally, this is the first time Liu Jianhua’s work will be shown in New Zealand. The exhibition will run from 20 February to 10 July 2016.

Liu Jianhua, Square at Pace Beijing, 2015. Photo courtesy of Liu Jianhua Studio

Liu Jianhua, Square at Pace Beijing, 2015. Photo courtesy of Liu Jianhua Studio

Liu Jianhua working on Square, 2015

Liu Jianhua working on Square, 2015

Liu Jianhua, Regular Fragile at Kings Lynn Art Centre UK, 2007. Photo courtesy of Liu Jianhua Studio

Liu Jianhua, Regular Fragile at Kings Lynn Art Centre UK, 2007. Photo courtesy of Liu Jianhua Studio

Titled Transfer, the exhibition features two major full-gallery installations. Regular Fragile is a work of 1500 everyday objects cast in white porcelain that will hang from the ceiling and amass on the floor. This well-known and extensively exhibited work was first shown in the Chinese Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2002. In contrast, The Dowse will be the first gallery outside of China to exhibit a major new work, Square, which features glistening pools of gold-coated porcelain.

Director of The Dowse Courtney Johnston says it is a coup for the museum to secure such an ambitious exhibition. “We are thrilled to present the work of Liu Jianhua to a New Zealand audience. The Art Gallery of New South Wales owns a major work, but that’s the closest his work has come to this country to date. The chance to work with this leading artist is the result of Emma Bugden, The Dowse’s senior curator, visiting Liu Jianhua’s studio in Shanghai in 2013. It is an exciting opportunity and we’re looking forward to presenting the exhibition to Dowse visitors”.

Emma Bugden visited Liu Jianhua’s studio during a curatorial research programme in Asia supported by Creative New Zealand and the Asia New Zealand Foundation.

Support for the exhibition has been received from the Confucius Institute of Victoria University of Wellington and the Asia New Zealand Foundation.

Liu Jianhua will be in New Zealand and available for interviews from the 16th February 2016.


Artist Biography

Born in 1962, Liu Jianhua is part of a generation of Chinese artists who came to international prominence in the 1990s. He currently lives and works in Shanghai. From the age of 12 Liu Jianhua was sent to work with his uncle, a craft master, in Jingdezhen, a hub for Chinese ceramic production since the Song Dynasty. When he was 15 he began working directly in the porcelain factories, working there until he was 23 and began fine arts study, majoring in ceramics and sculpture.

Liu Jianhua has exhibited extensively in both China and internationally. Recently, his work has been included in The 1st Kiev Biennale of Contemporary Arts, 14th international Sculpture Biennale of Carrara, 17th Biennale of Sydney, Vancouver Biennale 2009–2011, The 3rd Nanjing Triennial, 2nd Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, The 1st Singapore Biennale, The 6th Shanghai Biennale, Busan Biennale and The 50th Biennale di Venezia China Pavilion. Exhibitions of his work have been held by institutions including Kunstmuseum Bern (Switzerland), Asian Art Museum (San Francisco), Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien (Austria), Kunst Der Gegenwart Sammlung Essl (Austria), Hamburg Art Center (Germany), Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), Irish Museum of Modern Art (Dublin), Tate Liverpool (Liverpool, London), Center Pompidou (France).


Media enquiries and images: Katrina Smit
M 027 7777 127 | T 04 560 1477 | E

Add a Comment