Han Xueyan

In the current climate of cultural overspending, recollection is itself a  luxury.Rare commodities in the marketplace,memories have become  merchandise.Within the context of sham history, small details are even more a  mark of character.To focus on an unchanging and permanent world of imagination   is not just a theoretical gamble. It is very easy to be judged by the  standards of big wigs and in terms of money, and very quickly lose the  attention of the so-called ‘mainstream’,ending up in one’s own dark corner.

From this perspective,Liu Ruowang grasps hold of and sticks close to his  memories.For a gambler, the glory of the people is too bright, it is better to  hide away,drink shots of liquor,and let boredom nd nothingness clear up heavy  feelings. Fictitious images and false difficulties are usually portrayed in a  future where it is established that Chinese people have already grown in  confidence with regard to the appreciation of beauty.Memories are the past,  and the general feeling is that one ought to create from the “Western point of  view”,false folklore and colour is more likely to be accepted,overly fantastic  and sentimental masquerades that are easily seen through. Insuch  circumstances,opportunists will eventually be exposed as shallow. Within such  a context, Liu Ruowang’s art is very different from the norm.

Liu Ruowang’s creativity is particularly precious here and now. He was born in  the ancient land of the Qin , a land of broken roof tiles and Terracotta  Warriors, barren earth with only the nourishment of history;that was the milk  he began to absorb before anything else.At the same time,this revolutionary  area’s special status also produced innumerable legends and intense emotion.  The ideal society and kind-hearted wishes are an important part of the Shaanxi  Opera;the passionate significance behind these expressions lies beyond  words.These shared characteristics of his land are the roots of Liu Ruowang’s  art.

When he began to travel through the gallery of Western artistic techniques,  recolletions seemed to be a bugle call sounding in his heart,so that he had no  choice but to stop and glance back. In his works, the spirit of the people and  their words are modeled expressions,which one could also say are an important  thread that runs through his soul. Look at ‘DongfangHong’ and compare the  Terracotta Warriors, which through innumerable replications of the same  individual models produce a power that can topple the mountains and overturn  the seas. Liu Ruowang’s figures, on the other hand, are searching for  happiness and stand forever crying out. Look also at the ‘People Series’.If  you read Camus, honest people are like Sisyphus, constantly pushing the  boulder of history up a hill, which is a mocking and satiric picture,but the  figures in the People Series’s are still waiting with anticipation even if  imporverished; one can genuinely feel that their tragic destiny is at hand.

Furthermore, the intensity of this feeling of arrival, cannot but make one  feelshaken by Liu Ruowang’s inner world,after all,he has only just reached the  age when  one must take his stand’, these are often years of distraction for  young men in the big city, it is a time of softness and gracefulness amid the  flowers and beneath the moon. But Liu Ruowang uses his memories to infuse his  art with 3000 years of history;to create his own realm of solemnity and  seriousness. Maybe recollection is not arousing a certain moment in time, but  in reality is the act of constructing a place where the soul can return home  to rest. The most important thing there is not the appearance of sham  folklore, but rather that pure memories can hold back the tide of  forgetfulness!

Qinhua University Fine Arts Institute,Doctor and Researcher,
2 February 2007,Qinghua University