Liu Zigsen: After Tomorrow

Liu Zigsen

Artwork’s Title: After Tomorrow

Material Used: Oil on Canvas

Studio Based: Hangzhou, China

Liu Zigsen, ‘After Tomorrow’, oil on canvas, 2021

Can you tell us about the process of making your work?

I like the concept of computer simulation generation, which expands the appearance and way of painting. At present, contemporary figurative painting is either image-based or expressive. Of course, many young artists of my age have started to create based on computer models. However, in my opinion, most of them just convert model images directly into paintings. In essence, they are still image collage or a Photoshop concept. In my opinion, deconstruction, a very important thing in the history of painting, is not obvious, But I think that’s the key. Therefore, I prefer the concept of simulation. In my opinion, it is a way to analyze and abstract deconstruct and reconstruct the system of specific things in a certain algorithm or basic way. I hope that my own creation will reproduce this interesting process in the form of painting. Before creating, I will generally conceive an idea or clue, then select a specific object image, and then deal with the object in a drawing way similar to model deconstruction. In this process, I will try my best to use transparent colors and media, and use mechanical strokes to depict and cover again and again, so the model is constantly broken, stacked and reorganized until the picture produces an indescribable feeling between blur and clarity.


How would you define your work in a few words (ideally in 3 words)?

Model deconstruction, alienation, scientific and technological mysticism.


Could you share with us some insights on your ‘After Tomorrow’, (2021) painting? Is there any particular story behind this new work?

in the painting ‘After Tomorrow’, I used a familiar classic pattern – a close-up of the faces of men and women looking at the horizon at dawn. I use my painting method to treat the characters into a complex state that is clear and fuzzy. I hope that this painting can inspire the viewers to think about the future and their own existence.


You also have been involved in the art field of sculpture; in comparison to your paintings, do you have any different artistic references or personal motivations when you decide to create a sculpture?

I studied sculpture as a undergraduate in China Academy of Art and painting as a graduate student. Therefore, I have different feelings and views on space, especially how the space in painting shows depth. When I return to sculpture, I hope that my ideas and paintings are consistent. Therefore, in sculpture, I analyze and disassemble the model more directly. Different from the planarity of painting, sculpture is three-dimensional and can show objects in multiple directions. This can be regarded as a continuation of my painting in real space.


Do specific artworks have been created by random experiments in your studio or do you usually come up with a particular concept or narrative in the very beginning of your artistic process?

I always think that creation needs to be restricted first and then free creation. I must keep my mind clear. I like to determine the concepts, images and models first, including the choice of colors and strokes. After these foundations have been laid, I can freely play in the next painting process, constantly break through the original limitations, and I will always keep many random things


Is there any particular theme that utterly triggers you to engage your art with?



What would be the best way to exhibit your work?

Painting and sculpture are interrelated and the clues are coherent.


Can you mention any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?

Cezanne, Bacon, Gerhard Richter, etc. dare to jump out of the existing painting system and think and explore new ways of painting. Recently, I like Bernard Frize. The transparency of his brush strokes and the interweaving of colors inspired me.

塞尚,培根,格哈德里希特,等等,他们敢于跳出既有的绘画体系,思考和发掘绘画新的道路。最近比较喜欢的是Bernard Frize,他笔触的透明性和色彩的交织方式启发了我。

What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space look like?

My studio is next to the Hangzhou safari park, China. There are two floors, one for creating and the other for storing and displaying works. It’s a quiet place for me to create new things.


Which are your plans for the near future?

There are some exhibition plans in the near future, including an upcoming solo exhibition. I will continue to create more works in other time.


Additional Paintings

Liu Zigsen, ‘Dogs’,oil on canvas
Liu Zigsen, ‘NewBoy’, oil on canvas
Liu Zigsen, Predator, oil on canvas
Liu Zigsen, Forest Man, oil on canvas
Liu Zigsen, Newboy 0002, metal sculpture


All images courtesy of the artist

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