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Xi Liu (b.1998). She is a student in the MFA Fine Art (Painting) programme at UCL Slade.


I often display certain dualities in my works, including individual and group, connection and disconnection, cohesion and dispersion, micro and macro, same and different, familiar and unknown, stillness and movement, presence and absence. In my creative process, I also enjoy incorporating writing as one of my approaches. As such, most of my creations are based on the words, sentences, or paragraphs I interpret.


Whether exploring everyday objects like furniture, food, or fireworks in my creations or delving into more abstract themes—physical, psychic, and emotional states—they are closely intertwined with themes of family, group, and intimate relationships. The objects are impacted by sudden changes as they move through time, and the states are deeply tied to sensory memories and experiences of the objects. I immerse myself in these relationships, floating and attempting to freely breathe and contemplate within the gaps. Through my depictions, they deform, bend, tilt; they oscillate between visibility and obscurity; they chase each other; and they remain turbulent, resistant, and suspended.

I frequently sense a feeling of “squeeze” within various relationships. Squeeze exists in all sorts of interpersonal relationships: restrictions cause squeeze, unequal energies cause squeeze, differences in size cause squeeze, and dealing with the collective as an individual causes squeeze. Explosions are a form of squeeze, as are minute fluctuations. Squeeze can be fierce, grand, obvious, as well as subtle, nuanced, and imperceptible; it simultaneously embodies positivity and negativity. Squeeze brings connections but also erects barriers. The tension, unease, and oppression it brings, or the reshaping of individuals and collectives, exist in the realms of individuals, groups, and society. The sense of squeeze is my portrayal of a prevalent state in contemporary society. I seek to create a world full of envelopment, immersion, expansion, reaction, decay, pronunciation, conflict, dissolution, fragmentation, engulfment, contraction, obstruction, pathways, fences, thresholds, boundaries, channels... a world filled with relationships. I experience and narrate complex states of forces between a single individual and a collective, trying to discuss the relationship between the individual, the group, and the boundary.

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