"People, Birds and Beasts" by Liu Dao "Evening" by Liu Dao "Himavanta" by Liu Dao "Penjing" by Liu Dao "Rusted" by Liu Dao
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"People, Birds and Beasts" by Liu Dao
TITLE "People, Birds and Beasts" (鸟兽不可与同群)
ARTIST Liu Dao 六岛
MEDIA LED display, Chinese papercut (Jian Zhi 剪紙), paper collage, teakwood frame
DATE Made in island6, Shanghai 2010
SIZE 108×108×9 cm | 42.5×42.5×3.5 inches
TECH SPECS 7× MW LPV-60-5 (INPUT 100-240V AC /1.2A 50/60 HZ - OUTPUT 5V/8.0A)
WEIGHT ARTWORK WEIGHT: 31.5 kg | 69.5 lb + CRATE WEIGHT: 26 kg | 57 lb
EXPOSURE exhibited in "Prophecies"
CREDITS Tang Dashi 汤大师 & He Dashi 贺大师 (Chinese paper cutting 剪紙) • Wang Dongma 王东马 (video animation) • Thomas Charvériat (art direction & technical guidance) • Zane Mellupe (production direction)

The scene within "People, Birds and Beasts" comes from a Confucian allegory of around 500 B.C. that contemplates separation, envy and human nature (“The Analects (‘Sayings’) XVIII”). An intricate traditional Chinese papercutting depicts a fishbowl with an LED inhabitant floating in green, bubbly waters. Under the cherry blossom branches in the vase, an avaricious kitten looms watchfully. A tiny bird hops restlessly from branch to branch above the bowl. Painstakingly crafted entirely from a single sheet with a bamboo knife, the art of papercutting or jianzhi dates back to the Eastern Han Dynasty. The use of traditional rice paper steeped in oolong tea gives the piece its unique brown finish, and its translucence allows the animated LED forms to show through. People, Birds and Beasts was conceived by the Shanghai-based art collective Liu Dao as a commentary on the state of Chinese society, where economic forces and the widening income gap increasingly pushes apart the different socio-economic segments of the country. As the goldfish bobs in circles around its bowl, both at once its secure haven as well as its limiting confinement, it envies the bird perched on its branch, seemingly free and utterly liberated – and yet completely vulnerable to the vagaries of the external environment. Both sectors of society appear absolutely disparate and distinct from each other, and yet they are linked by the unifying theme of human envy and isolation. The blend of the traditional artform of the papercutting with new media of LED serves also to complete the story of contrasts and disparity in modern Chinese society. [Ching Ling Loo]

STATUS N/A. Private collection, Brussels.
Download the LED animation source fileHigh Resolution PhotoWatch a video of this artworkmore
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island6 is a philanthropic project founded by artists and managed by devoted creative staff. The spirit & driving force behind all of island6's works and art-forward exhibitions is collaboration.
六岛是由艺术家自发创立, 由创作人员管理的公益艺术机构。其精神是为艺术家提供平台并支持各项协作项目。