Ying Liu

geluid - natuur - performance - abstract - artistiek onderzoek

Ying Liu positions herself as a time killer and dilettante in art, experimenting the aimlessly long-term engagement with materials whilst embracing the uncertainty that comes with daily experiments in forms of installation, performance, video and drawing.

Influenced by a Chinese Buddhist family she has developed a strong tendency to decentralize the “self” through minimizing her artist’s authority in the art-making. Her practice explores the possibilities of "motional mediation" in the field of everyday life, while suspending her own subjectivity and expression.

Collective Contemplation #Prospects 2023 - Three Collective Contemplation sessions are held during Prospects 2023. The first session honours the women-led Jina revolution in Iran, best known for the slogan “Woman-Life- Freedom”. The 2nd session is done together with guests from Rainbow Soulclub initiative in Amsterdam. And in the third session, invited artists currently exhibiting work at Prospects joined us.
Black Mama - This work is inspired by the work of Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, author, artist and ordained Zen priest. The writings in this installation are free translations (into Persian, Chinese and Dutch) of passages from two of her books, “Opening to darkness”, 2023 and “The deepest peace: contemplations from a season of stillness”, 2020. The meditative quality of the act of manual translation into our mother tongues played a crucial role in the development of this work. This work is in collaboration with Alireza Abbasy.
Collective Contemplation #…ism - One project space, many rooms, twelve artists and two hours of ‘motional mediation’. Collective Contemplation is a project by Ying Liu who is interested in silencing the mind by physically and repetitively engaging with a certain materials. Adriaan Luteijn, Alireza Abbasy, Anastasia Shin, Eun Lee, Fatemeh Heydari, Hussel Zhu, Mike Megens, Robert Lombarts, Sam Bachy, Zela Odessa Palmer, Zoë d’Hont are following her path and the result is an exhibition of what the artists have left behind on the spot where the action happened.
Collective Contemplation - Collective contemplation is the program Ying started in June, in collaboration with Sarmad Magazine, with few artists she invited, held via zoom, with few sessions of one hour online meetings, happening every two weeks. During each meeting, artists execute their own “Motional meditation” individually at the same time. The artists will do their individual contemplation in silence; apart from the intro in the beginning and the discussion at the end, there is no verbal communication among the participants. Until now, the first and second round of Collective Contemplation practiced with 13 artists has already finished, and a booklet about this program has been published by Sarmad Magazine.
A cleaning lady in Witte Rook - Performance, installlation / 5-23 April, 2021 / Witte Rook, Breda, The Netherlands. / Collected the dust in the building of Witte Rook while doing the cleaning practice during the three weeks residency.
A Must-Read Notebook - Ink on notebook 14 x 9.5 x 2 cm -- I alienate languages on my notebook by drawing them quickly with the first impressions or using the unintelligible muscle memory of my mother language. The impressively strange feeling of facing the unknown for the first time was when I was a kid trying to read my father’s hand writing which was so abstract and free as hell. The massive undecipherable notes immediately put me in an excluded position to enter a world that was just in front of my eyes. This notebook project started with making fun of a problem I have which is about being unable to do fast writing in a natural and comfortable way when normally writing in Chinese/English. My hand writing shows on paper is always weird and clumsy which now has been used as an advantage since I realised this special skill that is of easily making any written languages unrecognizable. Through writing the language-alike languages, I doubt the meaning and value of any real language in the world.
Nonsense Note–Wind Chime - (collaborative work with Larmschutz) Performace 19 min July 2020 --‘Wind Chime’ is a performance happened in a park in Rotterdam, which is about live composing, immediate interpretation of notes and acoustic improvisation by using a trombone and a guitar. In this sound making process, the composer’s subjective self (or "mind") was not engaged in the creativity.
Mental Clouds - dimensions variable Playground, Bospolderplein 16, Rotterdam --Simply touching and shaping could be a meditative movement in which the physicality of the material shapes the hands’ gestures and sequentially sculpts a mental object. The being in this situation might recognize its hidden authenticity by taking care of an unshaped piece of clay. Without having a prenotion of what the rough piece of clay in hand could potentially look like, I just grabbed a random amount, having no idea how I was going to shape it. My hands followed the nature structure of each piece of clay and helped them become what they wanted to be. I confess that the creativity and opinions which are supposed to play roles in making them were actually not there with me, I abandoned them as if they could bother the mental pleasure. I questioned myself what was there taking a part of making these strange creatures. Is that just my existence which left these traces on the material?
Fluid Stillness - Installation Mixed media Dimensions variable November, 2019 --Each time I grabbed a small certain amount of clay in hands, Knowing so well what I was going to make even without thinking about the process. I was sitting there and making the ‘heavy bubbles’ for couple hours on each day during the two-weeks ‘Safe Box residency’ in Master Institute of Visual Cultures. When the bubbles were getting dried, time happened to appear on the clay showing the different states of colour’s changes
Living Room for Living - Installation, drawing, scupture Mixed media Dimensions variable Platform LivingRoom, Rotterdam October, 2019 In the Ancient Far East, groups of scholars and intellectuals merged the boundaries between life routines by establishing strong relations towards nature landscape and craftsmanship, nurturing an alliance to objects to create an ideal everyday environment. Backward art has largely played a role in forms of self-cultivation, which is completely different from our contemporary way of understanding and looking at art, that is more (self) reflecting rather than affirming. Nowadays, artworks and designs can have a genuine impact on how we shape our lives. Living around a large bed placed in the centre of an apartment surrounded by art works of friends will affect our feelings in an important way. This living room is considered to be an experimental site for Ying Liu to experience the interplay between life and the works she created when “killing time”, during this two-week residency, supporting her to invent an ideal proposal of daily life.