"City Uniform" by Liu Dao "We dream in order to forget" by Liu Dao "Night School" by Liu Dao "Qi Pao Rising" by Liu Dao "He Xiangu's Shoes" by Liu Dao
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"He Xiangu's Shoes" by Liu Dao
TITLE "He Xiangu's Shoes" (何仙姑的鞋)
ARTIST Liu Dao 六岛
MEDIA LED display, paper collage, stainless steel structure
DATE Made in island6, Shanghai 2010
SIZE 98×21×21 cm | 38.6×8.26×8.26 inches
TECH SPECS 3× MW LPV-60-5 (INPUT 100-240V AC /1.2A 50/60 HZ - OUTPUT 5V/8.0A)
WEIGHT ARTWORK WEIGHT: 15.5 kg | 34 lb + CRATE WEIGHT: 12 kg | 26.5 lb
EXPOSURE exhibited in "Plugged In"
CREDITS Wang Dongma 王东马 (video animation) • Thomas Charvériat (art direction & technical guidance) • Jean Le Guyader (video) • Zhang Leihua 张雷华 (production coordination)

"He Xiangu's Shoes" limns the lower half of a female body hanging in the sky and dangling her feet back and forth, at peace with herself and her surroundings of space. The girl is a modern version of the deity He Xiangu (何仙姑), the only female among the Eight Immortals (八仙) who have been revered within Daoism ever since obtaining everlasting life. With her head coyly in the clouds, she has risen above earthly/worldly/mundane desires and fears to float in the paradise that stretching above with only her set of Converse shoes tethering her to Earth.
Depicted in the murals and sculptures of the Jin tombs of the 12th and 13th centuries, on celadon vases, silk paintings, wood block prints, frequently the topic of plays written in the Yuan Dynasty, inspiring names of Chinese martial arts and qigong exercises, the subject of various temples' devotion, found on innumerable household artifacts, and the subject of many modern day films, the Eight Immortals are fundamental to Chinese art history.
In reference to the breadth of mediums portraying the Immortals, the Liu Dao depiction of He Xiangu is shown from the waist down in a stainless steel structure. Because of this anthropomorphic identity, one can easily imagine the rest of the body as a kind of liminal being–half human, half matter, and like most Liu Dao artworks, transcending any single categorical description.
"He Xiangu's Shoes" honors the goddess as truly immortal, as she has existed within every age of Chinese art for over eight hundred years and is today alive as ever. He Xiangu wears the fashions of the artists' generation in her Converse shoes and hot pants and continues her endless life within cutting edge contemporary art forms, such as those produced with LEDs and irregular shapes coming from island6 Arts Center.
One lighthearted use of the Eight Immortals comes from a Chinese proverb, where in order to cross a sea, each Immortal uses his or her own power to complete the task collectively, which Liu Dao adapt as an analogy for their own individual talents combining to create their Shanghai-produced artworks. [Pete Bradt]

STATUS N/A. Private collection, USA. (via TBC)
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。