Digitally manipulating images of animals, human nudes and insects to be disproportionate within shabby urban settings, Chinese artist Liu Di highlights the relationship between the the Animate and the Inanimate.
Liu Di Animal Regulations
Liu Di (??) was inspired way back in 2008 when riding a bus through the crowded suburbs of Beijing.Looking out at the decrepit housing blocks, I had a vague but strong feeling that there was something missing between the ground and the sky, he recalls.
He felt the urge to add something that would make people take a fresh, long look at these familiar scenes. The extra thing should be powerful and impossible to ignore, but not something that would make people panic. Eventually I decided it should be a huge animal.
above: Animal Regulation NO.2 C-Print, 80 x 60 cm, edition 10 + 2 AP, 2010
In 2010, using photo editing software, he re-imagined the normal proportions of a panda, a rhinoceros, a monkey, a rabbit, a deer and a frog and inserted them at a gigantic scale into dilapidated urban settings for his first series.
above: Animal Regulation NO.4 C-Print, 80 x 60 cm, edition 10 + 2 AP, 2010
By shoehorning these bottom-heavy beasts into back streets, construction sites and tenement courtyards, he highlights the relationships between nature and human society, between the material world and the intellect, between obedience to and violation of the laws of nature. It is only when our preconceptions are jolted, Liu Di concludes, that we wake up and truly see.
He called this first series “Animal Regulations”
above: Animal Regulation NO.5 C-Print, 80 x 60 cm, edition 10 + 2 AP, 2010
above: Animal Regulation NO.6 C-Print, 80 x 60 cm, edition 10 + 2 AP, 2010
above: Animal Regulation NO.7 C-Print, 80 x 60 cm, edition 10 + 2 AP, 2010
above: Animal Regulation NO.8 C-Print, 80 x 60 cm, edition 10 + 2 AP, 2010
Animal Regulations II
Liu Di then continued the series by playing with the juxtaposition between disproportional human nudes and natural surroundings in 2012:
above: Animal Regulation II NO.9 C-Print, 64 x 120 cm / 85 x 160 cm, edition 10 + 2 AP / 4 + 1 AP, 2012
above: Animal Regulation II NO.10 C-Print, 64 x 120 cm / 85 x 160 cm, edition 10 + 2 AP / 4 + 1 AP, 2012
Animal Regulations III
Then, a beetle in 2013:
above: Animal Regulation ? NO.16, C-Print, 60 x 75 cm / 90 x 114 cm, edition 10 + 2 AP / 4 + 1 AP, 2013
Animal Regulations IV
And his two recent additions to the series, Animal Regulations, created in 2014:
above: Animal Regulation No.18, C-Print, 80 x 76cm, edition 10, 125 x 120cm, edition 10, 2014
above: Animal Regulation NO.19, C-Print, 80 x 100cm, edition 10, 125 x 158cm, edition 10, 2014
C-prints of Liu Di’s Animal Regulations series can be purchased through Pekin Fine Arts
By violating the rules of common sense, we can break the hypnotic trance induced by familiar reality. – Liu Di
Liu Di (above) was born An Kang City, Shanxi, in 1985 and studied at the China Central Academy of Fine Arts from 2004-2009. He is represented by Pekin Fine Arts Gallery and White Rabbit Gallery