Neorealist Painter Liu Xiaodong Stars in Half Street Documentary
Chinese pioneering artist Liu Xiaodong recently appeared in a documentary called “Half Street,” which follows him during his time in London where he spent six weeks in residency creating works for two pubs and a restaurant, all leading up his inaugural appearance at London’s Lisson Gallery.
In the excerpt, the documentarian and former actor narrates as he paints some of the guests sitting in at The Perseverance pub, musing about their backgrounds and family’s stories, and ultimately heightening the realities of his subjects. In addition to painting for another London pub, he was also tasked with creating eight large-scale acrylic paintings for a Middle Eastern restaurant in Marylebone immortalizing some of the neighborhood regulars, all of different cultural backgrounds.
Commenting on his work, Liu said: “Facing the realities of life is my favorite way to paint. I would set up my canvas and paint what I witnessed.” The full 40-minute documentary was shot by filmmaker Sophie Fiennes who has also documented Slavoj Žižek, Grace Jones and Michael Clark. “Half Street” will run from September 27 through November 2.
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