b. 1965, Beijing, China
Liu Wei was born in Beijing in 1972, and he still lives and works there.
Liu’s artistic activities are expressed in a wide variety of media including video, paintings based on computer graphics, installations and photography, and his works often address China’s rapid modernisation and urbanisation processes. Several of the artist’s works feature architectural salvage from demolished buildings in Beijing, which he uses in installations and sculptures.
Love it, Bite it! is a model of a city with buildings made of tanned cowhide and pigskin, the same materials that are used to manufacture rawhide chews for dogs. The 25 buildings form a fictional cityscape presenting easily recognisable structures such as the Pentagon, Tate Modern and the Moscow Kremlin. All of the buildings represent powerful political, cultural, religious or military entities. The details of Liu’s buildings are constructed with meticulous precision, but due to the organic qualities of the leather they have collapsed to a certain extent, evoking a post-apocalyptic mood in the installation. The artist uses these dilapidated models to generate an image of how the cultural, political and religious significance held by the original buildings can collapse or disintegrate. The artist originally intended to let dogs loose on the buildings in order to actually devour them. The work can thus be interpreted as a satirical comment on how humanity’s craving for power can be equated with animals’ instinctive and aggressive pursuit of food.