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Don Gallery 东画廊
2016.09.04 Sun - 2016.10.23 Sun
Opening Exhibition
Unit 302, 2879 Longteng Avenue, Shanghai 上海市徐汇滨江龙腾大道2879号302室 Shanghai 200031 CHINA
(+86)21 6473 1533
Opening Hours
11:0-18:00, Tuesday to Satruday, 13:00-18:00, Sunday
周二至周六,10:00 – 18:00;周日,13:00-18:00
Xixing Cheng

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Spring, River, Flowers, Moon, Night – Liu Ren Solo Exhibition – Don Gallery
[Press Release]

spring river tidal water

running level with the sea

on the sea the bright moon

rising with the tide

Don Gallery is delighted to announce that the solo exhibition of Liu Ren, Spring, River, Flowers, Moon, Night, will open on 4th September 2016 at the gallery. It is the artist’s second solo exhibition at Don Gallery. With the same title as the peerless masterpiece written by the Tang dynasty poet Zhang Ruoxu (660-720AD), the exhibition implies a realm connected to the spirit of the poem, revealing the artist’s consistent reflection on time and condition of the human in his own artistic creations. A number of paintings and installations newly created by Liu Ren will be presented at the exhibition.

on these banks what people

first saw the moon

river moon in what year

did you first shine on men

Time, as the ultimate and everlasting topic, has been embraced splendidly in Liu Ren’s different artworks. In recent years, he has focused on a particular type of raw material for his visual creative output, low-quality tissue paper. Made of recycled prints, this extremely low-cost kind of paper embodies the essence of his painting. Considerable time was spent by Liu Ren on cascading, drying and solidifying this thin material, layer by layer, to produce his ‘canvas’ in different sizes and thicknesses, on which images of social significance and historical sources have then been expressed. From the explosion of the first atomic bomb to Einstein’s portrait, from the catastropic aftershock of an aeroplane crash to the cover of Time Magazine……these heartfilled artworks, somewhere in between painting and sculpture, will be experienced head-on by the audience in the gallery.

life of man age on age


river moon year by year

looking at each other

As for time, as people are powerless to stop its continual passing, might living for the moment become a solution? In contemplating this present moment, Liu Ren has revisited the artistic movement of conceptualism, and the practice of its leading representative On Kawara. The late Japanese artist based in New York had started a half-century daily creation, Today, to record every single day vividly from January 4, 1966 (also the name of his first artwork in this series). In the eyes of Liu Ren, this kind of record is an expression of the consumption of the human being in line with the non-recoverable states of the body, its energy and vitality, with the passing of time. With this, two paintings were created by Liu Ren in his own style to memorize and respond to On Kawara, labelling the dates of this conceptualist’s birth and death missed in his original work. These paintings are also featured in the exhibition.


Liu Ren, born in Shanghai in 1983, has been in constant search of the nature of time and life, exploring the transformation between vision and conception. He is always seeking inspiration among the materials found around him in daily life, using ‘objects’ to express the duality of life, i.e. simultaneously heavy and empty. His works have been presented in many art spaces, including Mingsheng Art Museum (2016), chi K11 Art Museum (2016), CAFA Art Museum (2015), 21st Century Minsheng Art Museum (2015), Mercator Foundation (Essen, Germany, 2011), Italian Pavilion of Shanghai Expo (Shanghai, 2010), and Chongqing Art Museum (Chongqing, 2007). His solo exhibitions include FILTRATE (White Space, Beijing, 2013), 2008102020091112..8:35… (Don Gallery, Shanghai, 2009), and Deep Practice (am art space, Shanghai, 2008).

Liu Ren has been nominated for the John Moores Painting Prize (China) twice, and was rewarded the silver medal for the M50 Creative Leading-edge Artists (2008), as well as a Luo Zhongli Scholarship (2008). He graduated from Shangai Arts & Crafts College (2003) and the Fine Arts College of Shanghai University, majoring in Printmaking (2007). He lives and works in Shanghai.