Went to see a Liu Xiaodong's "Hometown Boy" exhibition at Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art (UCCA) in 798 today. Very good and particularly well curated by Jerome Sans. He suggested Liu spend the summer in his hometown of Jincheng in Liaoning province and paint family, neighbours and old friends. The outcome was an illustrated diary, a documentary film and around 25 large oil paintings. On their own the paintings were fine, the characters of each sitter revealed sympathetically in natural surroundings, indoors and outdoors. But it was the context, the process, and the stories behind each of the sitters that made the show great.
We went with friends, and our combined children were very good, sitting through 30 minutes of the documentary, reading some of the diary entries and asking good questions about the paintings. I was pleasantly surprised.