Liao Fei: Depiction


Artist:Liao Fei

Location:2F, The Cloisters Apartments, 62 West Fuxing Road, Shanghai

The Cloister Project is pleased to present “Depiction”, a solo exhibition of Liao Fei. Through a series of painting, drawings, and installation, the exhibition employs Liao Fei’s signature image-based and deductive reasoning to reflect and challenge the subtle sequences and formulas in cognitive patterns. The exhibition will be on view at the Cloisters Apartment from December 19, 2021, through February 28, 2022.

In “Depiction”, the artist questions the tacit patterns in our daily interactions with the surroundings, and presents installations and graphic works revealing cases and scenarios that contradict common instinct, such as the randomly activated motion sequence of gallery windows and lights controlled by an algorithm, or a series of drawings of clocks that won’t obey the inevitable passing of time. Liao Fei stays alert to anything that obscures us from perceiving the alternatives and the variations in the physical world, and attempts to liberate our mind from the daily routines that we subconsciously follow and regard as the “truth” of life.

Building upon the basic geometric elements, Liao Fei demonstrated his conceptual principle by depicting the singular idea of a circle in three variations of perspective, extracting the common area where the circles overlap as a portal-like shape that disrupts the uniformity of the circles. The images grow into complexity as he applies the principle to more elaborate geometric cryptex puzzles or the graphic outline of written phrases that vaguely recall the rhythm of a haiku. This series even morphs into a site-specific intervention as the artist shines a new light on how one is supposed to hold a coffee cup.

The exhibition unveils novelty and simplicity against chaos, and produces metaphysical imageries fused with a touch of humor. Liao Fei’s works are not manuscripts that preach to subvert the order of things, but to remind us with the infinity possibilities in a world that we are ever so familiar with.

*Special thanks to Vanguard Gallery for the assistance with the exhibition.


About the Artist


Liao Fei was born in Jiangxi in 1981 and graduated from Shanghai Normal University in 2006. Liao is based in Shanghai now.

Liao Fei’s practice originates from his doubts about his surroundings and his own self. He tries to approach “things” through his practice, employing physical materials through external forms of art to reveal the problems inherent in things. Confronting his art with an attitude of instrumental rationality, he strives to produce a perceptive intensity through thinking, logics and abstract concepts. His works transform the sense of balance intrinsic to mathematics into visual languages. Through his minimal, and almost solely linguistic expressions, we are then enabled to experience the presence of mathematical, logical and abstract things.

[figure liaofei]

About the The Cloister Project


The Cloister Project is Macalline Art Center’s special project space in Shanghai. The Cloister Project is situated on the fringes of Shanghai’s urban culture, embracing artistic intuition and novel creativity. The Cloister Project is the successor of the cultural salon, a place of ongoing encounters. The invited artists, curators, writers, and researchers are constantly shifting between the roles of host and guest, exploring the heterogeneity and spirituality of an artistic community today based on the common value of mutual respect.

The Macalline Center of Art (MACA) is a non-profit art institution located in the 798 Art District of Beijing and officially inaugurated its space on January 15, 2022. Occupying a two-story building with a total area of 900 square meters, MACA unites artists, curators, and other art and cultural practitioners from around the world. Through its diverse, ongoing, and collaborative approaches, the Center establishes a new site on the contemporary art scene. Guided by the “work of artists” and backed by interdisciplinary research, the Center aims to bring together a community passionate about art and devoted to the “contemporary” moment so as to respond proactively to our rapidly evolving times.