Austin-based artist, Beili Liu is known for her site-specific installations that often come in a series of related but distinct installations. Like Chiharu Shiota , Jean Shin and Tara Donovan, Beili Liu creates her installations using everyday materials such as needles, thread, water and salt to exhibit a visual metaphor of lines, transience, fragility and time lapse. I find her sculptural and installation work to be very elegant and rich in cultural context.
Liu’s work often leans towards abstraction; hence, the level of ambiguity will often come into play. Her work will vary depending on the genuine connection she finds towards the material. The overall process requires her to play with the material and anticipate a moment of surprise. Through testing, manipulating, experimenting and examining or as she describes, leaving it behind, the material will eventually respond to one of this methods.
Think of it as a trial and error process or an “aha” moment. The results will lead her into an exciting physical or conceptual outcome that in turn may become a leading key to a new and exciting project. Belli Liu was born and raised in China. Coming from East to the West, she has an experience of a foreigner simulating into another culture. She states, “As someone who comes from the East and lives in the West, I have experience two distinct and often contradictory value systems.” For that reason, she often looks at materials in the subject of elements such as structure, location, light, sound and most importantly, spatial orientation. Her reaction towards a space is often spontaneous, but in her delivery she always ties together the chosen material and the sensitive spatial compositions.
Her exhibitions attract the viewer to compare one specific aspect of the installation to another installation next to it. She manages to control the flow while creating an appreciation for the overall theme of the exhibition—many of which often illuminates together the fate obscured by obstacles, seeking and finding, and the promise of transformation.
Belli Liu currently lives and works in Austin, Texas, where she holds the position as an assistant professor of art at the University of Texas at Austin. She studied at University of Tennessee at Knoxville prior to receiving her MFA from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.