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Lot 1
Liu Wei
(B. 1965)
You Like Me, Why Not? Series No. 33
27 May 2023, 15:00 HKT
Hong Kong, Admiralty

Sold for HK$702,500 inc. premium

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Liu Wei (B. 1965)

You Like Me, Why Not? Series No. 33

signed and dated 1996 on the lower left
oil on canvas with nails

30 x 40 cm (11 13/16 x 15 3/4 in)

Schoeni Art Gallery label affixed to the reverse


Schoeni Art Gallery, Hong Kong (acquired directly from the artist)
Collection of the Schoeni Family

Hong Kong, Schoeni Art Gallery, 8+8-1 Selected Paintings by 15 Contemporary Artists, 19 June - 12 July 1997

Schoeni Art Gallery Ltd., 8+8-1 Selected Paintings by 15 Contemporary Artists, Hong Kong, 1997, p.44, illustrated in colour

油彩 畫布 釘子

簽名︰劉煒 liuwei 1996(左下)



「8+8-1:15位當代藝術家油畫展」,少勵畫廊,香港,1997年6月19日 - 7月12日


Born in 1965, Liu Wei is known for his establishment of the Cynical Realism movement with fellow painter Fang Lijun in the 1990s. Their groundbreaking artistic style made them the first group of Chinese artists to participate in the Venice Biennale. He is widely lauded as one of the most talented Chinese contemporary artists.

Executed in 1996, You Like Me, Why Not? Series No. 33 is an iconic work that embodies the style of Cynical Realism. Drawing inspiration from his surroundings and personal experiences, Liu Wei satires subject matters that are usually considered serious and meaningful, echoing the world in a humorous yet sarcastic way. A pink, enormous face occupies the centre of the painting. Figures, trees, and greenery are represented in a cankered and gangrenous manner. The unsettling atmosphere of this work is further intensified by the nails hammered around four sides of the canvas. Renowned Chinese art critic Li Xianting once quoted Lu Xun's words for Liu Wei's work, "Disintegration as glamorous as peaches and plums." Liu Wei's aesthetics are vastly different from the conventional ideals of refined beauty. The figures and landscapes in Liu Wei's painting are rotten and ulcerated. The artist evokes primitive emotions and representations in human nature through straightforward and rough expressions in his work. Inscribed with the phrase "You like me" at the top of the canvas, Liu Wei ludicrously challenges universal aesthetics. The question is whether we can face our true nature or live in a bubble of our imagined perception.

Liu Wei once said, "I cannot tolerate repeating myself. Once a series is done, I will never do the same thing again." The You Like Me, Why Not? Series has 52 works in total. Self-deprecating and cynical, they are quintessential works from the 1990s that illustrate the era's sense of ennui and absurdity. In contemporary popular culture, an "ugly beauty" that diverges dramatically from the mainstream standard is being celebrated. Looking at Liu Wei's works in that context, he already confronted viewers with the same concept in You Like Me, Why Not? Series No. 33 in the 1990s. The work is subversive against the modernist movement in the 1980s, and an epitome of the development of Chinese contemporary art.


創作於1996年的《你喜歡我嗎?系列33號》為劉煒「玩世寫實主義」風格的代表作。從自身與周圍的現實體驗出發,將「嚴肅」、「有意義」的事物滑稽化,以幽默諷刺的表現方式回應外界,是「玩世寫實主義」的核心價值。偌大的粉色頭像佔據畫面中央,人物、花草樹木都是一貫地潰瘍、爛得出汁的樣貌,加上圍繞畫布四周的釘子,營造出令人不安、不舒服的氛圍。中國知名藝評家栗憲庭曾引用魯迅的話來形容劉煒的作品:「潰爛之處,艷若桃李」,不同於世俗、雕琢粉飾的美,劉煒筆下潰爛、流淌的人、物和風景,直接又粗暴,引出人類最原始的情感與樣貌。畫面上方的一句「you like me」戲謔地挑戰普世美感,人們能面對真實的自我?還是經過層層包裝的美好想像?



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