UCCA Dune invites David Douard and Liu Shiyuan to present "Optimized Heart" at Aranya



© David Douard.

In “Optimized Heart,” a two-person exhibition by David Douard and Liu Shiyuan, UCCA invites both artists to find new connections and inspirations within the context of each other’s practices. The two artists have long adhered to mixed-media based creation, combining images, installations, and sculptures. Each has formed their own distinctive creative characteristics through their respective treatment of culture and images. French artist Douard often draws materials from the world of the Internet and the anonymous masses. He constantly transforms sounds, videos, poems, and written texts from life, and through sculptures and video installations, shapes an evolving social space and imagines the possibility of resistance. Liu often takes into account the complexity of ethical issues in the context of globalization, and at the same time, through her image-based creations—from sketches to collage photography, videos, and installations—she frequently questions ever-changing technologies’ invasion into intimate dimensions and consumer culture, as well as its impact on people, putting forward a real concern for the destiny of humankind.

Through language as a medium—whether textual, pictorial, or acoustical, the exhibition attempts to explore how the competition mechanism and self-optimization-driven discipline in contemporary global society subtly affect the perception of the subject. Through their artistic dialogue, Douard and Liu will present a poetic and imaginative world to the audience, and invite people to reflect on how information dissemination, images of consumption, and digital governance shape affects and epistemology in our social life. The exhibition is curated by UCCA Curator Yan Fang.

About the Artists

David Douard

David Douard (b. 1983, Perpignan) lives and works in Aubervilliers, France. He graduated from the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris in 2011, and now teaches at the École nationale supérieure d'arts de Paris Cergy. Language is the very basis of David Douard’s work. The texts and poems he collects on the Internet are manipulated and transformed in order to become a vital flow, feeding into his sculptures. With language as an ingredient, David Douard redefines space as hybrid and collective by injecting anonymous, chaotic, deviant, ill, and frustrating poems in it. As he recreates an infected environment where the real world used to be, the fantasy brought about by new digital technologies expands.

His major solo exhibitions include “O’Ti’Lulabies” (Serralves Museum, Porto, 2022); “O’ Ti’ Lulaby” (FRAC Île-de-France, Paris, 2020); “blindf'old” (KURA. c/o Fonderia Artistica Battaglia, Milan, 2018); “Horses” (Kunstverein Braunschweig, 2016); “Mo'Swallow” (Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2014); and “)juicy o'f the nest” (Sculpture Center, New York, 2014). Select group exhibitions include “A History of Desire: Art from the 20th Century to the Digital” (Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, 2019); “CHILDHOOD - Another banana day for the dream-fish” (Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2018); “Medusa” (2017) and “Co-workers, L’artiste comme réseau” (Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris, 2015-2016); the Gwangju Biennale (2018), “Inhuman” (Fridericianum, Kassel, 2015); “Europe, Europe” (Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo, 2014); Taipei Biennial (2014), Biennale de Lyon (2013), “Evocateur” (Fondation Pernod Ricard, Paris, 2012).

David Douard was a resident fellow at the French Academy in Rome, Villa Medici from 2017 to 2018. His works are in the collections of Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris; Fonds national d'art contemporain, France; FRAC Île-de-France, Paris; and FRAC Limousin, Limoges.

Liu Shiyuan

Liu Shiyuan (b. 1985, Beijing) received her BFA from the Digital Media Art Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing. In 2012 she graduated with a Master’s degree from the Photography Department of the School of Visual Arts, New York. Liu currently lives and works in Beijing and Copenhagen. Her artistic practice spans many mediums, including photography, video, text, spatial installation, and stage plays. By eliminating preconceptions and subjective value judgments, Liu maintains a sensible and rational detachment toward the subjects in her works. Whether in self-produced film and photography or appropriated images and cultural resources, Liu fully mobilizes and recontextualizes the suspended semantics of her objects. Through this, the artist asks questions about many aspects of the world recorded and engulfed in images, such as how images shape stereotypes, how they disseminate propaganda, and the impact of pop culture on human perceptions and value standards. In a sense, be they pictures, texts, or physical objects, they are like actors to be directed and rehearsed by the artist to reactivate their original meaning and emotional potential, and to construct new pictorial mazes, narrative puzzles, and intellectual theaters in their interaction with each other.

Recent solo exhibitions include “Suspended Frames” (WHITE SPACE Caochangdi, Beijing, 2022); “For Jord” (Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, Los Angeles, 2020); “Opaque Pollination” (Frost Art Museum, Fort Lauderdale, 2020); “In Other Words, Please Be True” (WHITE SPACE Caochangdi, Beijing, 2019); “Isolated Above, Connected Down” (Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, 2018); and “As Simple As Clay” (Yuz Museum, Shanghai, 2015). Recent group exhibitions include “Mirror Image: A Transformation of Chinese Identity” (Asia Society Museum, New York, 2022); the NGV Triennial (National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2020); “Lunar Phases” (UCCA, Beijing, 2019); “The Intertextuality of Art and Poetry” (OCAT Shenzhen, 2019); “Welcome to The Jungle” (Kunsthalle Dusseldorf, 2018); “Cold Nights” (UCCA Beijing, 2017); Yinchuan Biennale (2016); “Bentu, Chinese artists in a time of turbulence and transformation” (Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, 2016); and the 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale (2012).

About the Exhibition

Duration: 2023.3.26 - 2023.6.25

Venue: UCCA Dune, Aranya, Qinhuangdao, Hebei Province

Courtesy of UCCA Center for Contemporary Art.