Liu Hai-Su Art Gallery

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I guess it always feels good to escape the normal routine. Last Wednesday, I went to the Liu Hai-Su Art Gallery in the morning. Taking a stroll from the light rail station to the gallery, I walked on the pedestrian area, in between an open green space and elevated highway. To reach the gallery, I needed to walk into a well-design mini-park (with lawn, little ponds) through well-paved passages.

Alas! There it was! A very modern architecture with a beige colour. The two wings were similar but not exactly identical, adding another layer of the three-dimensionality.

Maybe because it was a weekday, or maybe because it was a new site (the original museum was located at another place where I have never been to), only a few visitors could be found (at least fewer than the staff).

The paintings on display were selected from the permanent collection, mostly modern and contemporary pieces of work. I enjoyed the gallery curated under the theme ‘Abstract versus Concrete Style’, juxtaposing paintings of two styles together.

One painting in the other gallery on the ground floor caught my eyes: one depicting ‘The Fate of Cities’, with a zigzagging track of jammed traffic. It was just the impression that a city gave. As I moved back to this big metropolitan, I could feel the pain (whether sitting in a car stuck on the road, or squeezing myself into a packed underground compartment.

The museum had a spacious place, a big empty area in the hall, where one could also find a cafe and a museum shop. Since I travelled a long way, I thought I might well visit the temporary exhibition about the artwork of an artist called ‘Du zhi-wei’. I had not known this artist before. Then I learnt that he had been exploring new ways of Ink wash painting. Having practised art both in China and in the States, Du had tried to combine the Chinese spirit and the western elements. His paintings covers a wide range of different landscape, e.g. the Grand Canyon, village cottage. The way he applied ink wash to paint geometrical shapes was quite innovative, at least I did not recall seeing something like that before. He was also a great calligrapher, and he was very bold in trying out different styles.

It was overall a pleasant visit. And being alone, I had the freedom to wander around, though it was sometimes a little intimidating to be ‘watched’ by the guards. I love the architecture, especially the outdoor design-the merge of a mini open-space garden and the gallery. Yet it is still a very traditional white-cube art gallery, and on a weekday when visitors are fewer than working staff, I found it hard to be at ease.