Liu Xiaodong was born in 1963 in Jincheng, China. He earned a B.A. from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, in 1988 and an M.F.A. in 1995. He continued his studies abroad at the Academy of Fine Arts at the Complutense University of Madrid from 1998-1999.
Liu was involved in the Neo-Realist movement in China during the 1990s, which sought to depict modern life (and its alienation) through a revived figurative painting tradition. Painting from life and en plein air is an integral part of Liu’s work, and his paintings depict intimate scenes of observed daily life that he experienced on his many travels. These works and his drawings have a documentary quality to them, an element that he carries over to his film projects as well.
Liu’s work can be found in many public and private collections around the world, including the Singapore Art Museum, Singapore; Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco. His work was included in the Gwanju Biennale in 2014, the Shanghai Biennale in 2000 and 2010, the 15th Biennale of Sydney in 2006, and the Venice Biennale in 1997 and 2013. He has had solo exhibitions at numerous venues including the Chronus Art Center, Shanghai; Palazzo Strozzi, Florence; Minsheng Museum, Shanghai; Kunsthaus Graz, Graz; and the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice.