Auction | China Guardian (HK) Auctions Co., Ltd.
2023 Spring Auctions > Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art
Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art

Liu Wei (b.1965)
You Like Me, Why Not? Series No.20(Painted in 1996)

Oil on canvas

32.5 × 41.5 cm. 11 3/4 × 16 1/4 in.

Signed in Chinese and English, dated on the bottom right

1997, 8+8-1: Selected Paintings by 15 Contemporary Artists, Schoeni Art Gallery, Hong Kong, p.46
20 Jun –12 Jul 1997, 8+8-1: Selected Paintings by 15 Contemporary Artists, Schoeni Art Gallery, Hong Kong
1998, 8+8-1 : Selected Paintings by 15 Contemporary Artists , Connaught Brown Gallery, London

Schoeni Art Gallery, Hong Kong
Private collection, Asia

The Eternal Interrogation from the Body to the Mind
Liu Wei's Portraits of the Human World

“I paint like how I live, which is very chaotic because I would look at all kinds of people, landscapes, and animals, and listen to all kinds of voices. Thus they trouble me sometimes, but they don't stop me from being happy and relaxed. Artwork is like a fresh egg in the studio, I feel very peaceful when I see it. That's when I them the most. They also say to me “You like me, why not!”
——Liu Wei

Through the grand narrative of the “85 New Wave” and the social exploration of the early 1990s, a new group of artists emerged in the pulse of Chinese contemporary art: they started from their collective life experience and returned to their personal life. Among them, as the most important representative artist of “Cynical Realism”, he exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1993 and 1995, which drew great attention in the Western art world.

Liu Wei's creations mostly focus on people and things in his own life, and his expressions are vivid and frank. For example, the series You Like Pork? was first released in the Venice exhibition hall in 1995, deliberately placing human faces in a blurred and seemingly festering state to highlight the fragile flesh, thus presenting the numb and drifting ideology of people in the general environment at that time, which caused widespread responses in the art world. After the exhibition, Liu Wei returned to Beijing and took this as the basis for his year-long You Like Me, Why Not series, which features 52 pieces of artwork with weaker backgrounds and more prominent facial expressions, creating a series of faces that are familiar but could not be recognized. This series is also the most numerous of works in his art career to date, particularly representative. You Like Me, Why Not Series No. 20 presented in our Spring Auction is one of the wonderful works.

The Search for Love and Life

In You Like Me, Why Not Series No. 20, with a blue sky background, the artist uses contrasting pink and peach colours to combine the expressionistic figure with two hearts strung together graphically and symbolically. The brimming red and yellow roses symbolizing love were like flesh and meat under Liu's brush, getting rid of the original soft texture on the petals. The repeated “you like me?” are dramatically expressing the naked desire for love, the longing for approval, along with the moment when love hits the brain like a meteor. But it also questions the constancy of love, for roses can rot like flesh.

Almost like depicting the flesh with a magnifying glass, the face in Liu's work is under the process of metamorphosis, which reflects the decay of the body over time, and how life could be changeable. However, we still long to be loved and to love someone in a limited lifetime. Through his brush, he presents a world that is both brutally real and magically beautiful.

Price estimate:
HKD: 500,000 – 600,000
USD: 63,700 – 76,400

Auction Result:
HKD: 696,000



All information contained in this website is for reference only,
and contents will be subject to change without prior notice.
All estimates and auction results shown in currencies other than
the Hong Kong Dollar are for reference only.
Although the Company endeavors to ensure the accuracy of the information,
it does not guarantee the accuracy of such information.
And hence will not be responsible to errors or omissions contained herein.

Wechat QR Code

Please use the "Scan QR Code"
function in Wechat