Liu Ye is from the first generation of free Chinese artists, born in the 1950s and 60s, who matured as artists after the Cultural Revolution. These artists have witnessed not only the birth of the Cultural Revolution and the death of Mao, but also the opening of China to the rest of the world. Now, in their forties and fifties, they have incomparable experiences of remarkable depth, intensity and cultural strain. Liu Ye's style is unique among his contemporaries as he does not adhere to a specific school of contemporary Chinese painting. His work bathes in the cynicism of the first generation while using a cartoon-ish facade to cloak the severity of his criticism. His caustic commentary has anticipated the youngest generation of contemporary Chinese artists currently breaking onto the art scene as artists of the Cartoon Generation.
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