Beili Liu recalls her childhood world growing up in Jilin, China as an entire reality that was vast and three-dimensional. She was always passionate about drawing and writing, and saw the practice and skill of these creative outlets as satisfying and pleasurable. As an adult, after spending some time in a design-oriented, two-dimensional world, she harkened back to those days as a child in that space that felt so vast and exciting. About 15 years ago, Liu made the switch from working in two-dimensions to installation. Through this medium, she could revisit that childhood excitement by discovering the freedom of working in three-dimensions, which opened the doors to more advanced experimentations.
Beili Liu sees herself and other artists as messengers who have the unique opportunity to articulate their visions through creating visual experiences. Liu believes that artists have a particular sensitivity to the world around them and can utilize their insights into cultural concerns in their work. After practicing installations in a three-dimensional world, Beili Liu moved to working in two-dimensions with a new concept to capture and record moments of chance on paper. This direction caused her to look at issues broader than subject, like the processes of change, destruction, creation, and chance. This way of thinking in two-dimensions is what inspired a series of 2D works that focused on process and experimentation, including her Serie Print, Airseed Mono #1.
Airseed Mono #1
Airseed Mono #1 is a process drawing that explores the art of capturing a fleeting moment. It was an experiment with materials and process. She finds potential for projects by spending time experimenting with different materials until something surprising happens. Airseed Mono #1 was discovered by experimenting with Sumi Ink on Yupo paper, which created an array of fleeting and temporal bubbles. The overhead lamp Beili Liu was using began to bake the bubbles along their edges onto the paper, thereby capturing their temporal nature directly onto the Yupo paper. Discovering a new image and process was tedious but exciting. There was a lot of limitation in creating the drawings because the bubbles could only be so large. However, through serigraphy Beili Liu had the means to enlarge the image onto a fine art print. Being new to the process of creating hand-pulled serigraphs, Beili Liu found it exciting to experiment with the unique process of combining colors and layers to create one complete image.
Having always been interested in different techniques and the surprises that emerge from different experimentations, Beili Liu found practicing and learning the art of serigraphy to be exciting. The entire process involves both physical layers and layers of color, so in a way serigraphy has a three-dimensional nature of its own which, according to Beili Liu, is similar to installation. Each layer becomes a new drawing.Written by: Natalie Villarreal January 20th, 2015
For more information on Beili Liu, visit beililiu.com or watch her speak of her life and work through her Serie Project Artist in Residence interview:
The Serie Project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department, by the Texas Commission on the Arts, and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works.