Liu Jianhua was born in 1962 in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province, China. He lives and works in Shanghai. While still a child, he began working as a potter, learning the traditional techniques from which he later distanced himself only to later introduce a new way of producing Chinese ceramics. This material is an indisputably distinctive feature of his work, but, over the years, he has also experimented with other materials such as fiberglass, plastic, glass and traditional Chinese fabrics and clothes.
The life experience gained in the city of Shanghai has deeply influenced his experimentation. The city’s skyline has become another recurring motif. At first glance, the realistic and faithful depiction of the buildings seems, upon closer look, imperfect and artificial, aimed at symbolizing how the new Eastern cities, created through rapid urbanization, are nothing other than a faint reflection of the West. Liu Jianhua’s works have been exhibited in numerous museums and institutions, as well as at international events, including: the Venice Biennale (2003); the Centre Pompidou in Paris (2003); the Tate Liverpool (2004); the Irish Museum of Contemporary Art in Dublin (2004); the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo (2005 ); and the Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art (2007).