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PLACEHOLDER is an ongoing installation by artist Qian Liu in progress at the Gallery Factory!!!
Qian is using the entire Gallery Factory as a place for a large-scale, mixed media construction, created for the gallery & for a temporary period of time.
PLACEHOLDER @ Gallery Factory is open to the public Thursdays, Fridays, & Saturdays JAN 22nd - FEB 12, 2021 from 12-5pm. OR by appointment @ email@example.com OR phone 612-743-6664
ARTIST RECEPTION: FRI 12 FEB, 7-9pm
Her work moves between dead serious and the very absurd, addresses themes of lack, alienation, violence, and decay. Her process is rooted in improvisation using aesthetic and conceptual arrangements of ordinary things.
Qian Liu is a fiscal year 2020 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
Qian Liu was born in Beijing, China and moved to Minnesota in 2008. Qian started playing piano as a child and later trained as a painter in China. Her practice embraces performance, painting, ceramics, woodcarving and installation. Qian received a BFA from the University of Minnesota with a concentration in painting and ceramics. She is a three-time recipient of the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant. Her work moves between the dead serious and the very absurd, addresses themes of lack, alienation, violence and decay. Her process is rooted in improvisation using aesthetic and conceptual arrangements of ordinary things.
Learn more about Qian's work here:
Making art is a way to understand my own foreignness within societal and cultural contexts. My work orbits around sculpture, installation, and performance. My practice is an interdisciplinary dialogue where I use improvisatory and ephemeral constructions to explore philosophical ideas of being and lack. These concepts speak to human uncertainties and unbalanced tensions. One of my recurring themes calls into question how awareness of lack results in anxiety and destructive behavior as reflected through the underlying structures of contemporary culture and its thought systems.
Time, decay, alienation and imperceptible violence—the inevitable of life—all fall within the scope of my research. My process is a reenacting of loss, a series of false attempts to fulfill a “placeholder” that is undecidable and always in progress of being replaced, delineating a state of emergency, and the instability of a constantly threatened mental landscape. In this way, my practice is diaristic and discursive; a meticulous collecting of mornings, of nights, of awkwardness, of rationalized nonsense, and of struggle against the absurd.
My aesthetic and material choices are rooted in growing up in the communal space inside the China National Symphony Orchestra building in Beijing, a culturally diverse and contradictory environment. Neighbors were often seen in their underpants gambling in a dim corridor and hours later dressed up in tuxedos performing on the stage. The rehearsal hall on the first floor had gone through multiple renovations while the dwelling space upstairs was devoid of basic facilities. As the building began to break down in the late 90s, many temporary and irrational repairs were done by the tenants who were mostly musicians. Some repairs seemed only to be illusions of repair, or a protest to the situation. Popular strategies such as writing the word “leak” next to a leaking pipe and wrapping a grocery bag on an unvented water heater to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning were widely adopted. This resulted in a system that undermined itself. I was often inspired by the ways my neighbors arranged and protected personal belongings stored in the corridor. My very early “works” involved actions such as rearranging neighbors’ belongings and re-paring their slippers.
My performative practice often involves conducting fake investigations of non-existing personages or performing fallacious spiritual healings as home remedies. The mechanics of my artistic production operate as a counter production as “self-sabotage”. I use subtle, abstract, and humorous approaches to address unsettling issues and themes.
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