Born in Beijing in 1958, Liu Xuguang received his Ph.D. degree in Fine Arts from Tsinghua University, and is now a professor and the Associate Dean of the Fine Arts Department at Beijing Film Academy. As a scholar, Liu Xuguang has conducted extensive research on the recent developments of global art and new media art. In 1988, Liu studied abroad in Japan and became acquainted with the art of Mono-ha. There he looked into Eastern philosophy and established the Essence theory in fines arts, whereby he explored the issue of formal essence and medium in contemporary art. His long-time visual explorations are in turn expressed in both physical/material mediums and digital forms.
Liu Xuguang in both his painting series Marks and Prime Field retained the materials of Chinese ink paintings, namely ink and rice paper, but consciously renounced its traditional forms. It may well be a result of his belief that forms of modern art can better serve to convey the contemporary spirit of Chinese culture. Each piece of artwork is filled with the same Chinese character ε (bu). Much more than a simple abstract mark, it is embedded with at least two implications: firstly, the very vertical line and dot that form the logogram ε are two fundamental formal components of Chinese ink paintings; moreover, the semantic meaning of the character εin Chinese, “divination”, represents the most primitive cosmological view in Chinese culture and contains the “true essence” that Liu quests for. The endless repetition of this seemingly simple pattern thus reflects Liu’s ultimate meditation on the relationship among the heaven, the earth and the mankind.
Liu Xuguang’s artworks have been shown in many prominent museums and institutions in China, USA, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Finland, Japan, and Korea. He is also the author of six monographs, including The Consciousness of Substance (Shandong Fine Arts Publishing House) and Introduction to New Media Art (Hebei Fine Arts Publishing House).