Digitally manipulating images of animals, human nudes and insects to be disproportionate within shabby urban settings, Chinese artist Liu Di highlights the relationship between the the Animate and the Inanimate.
Liu Di was inspired way back in 2008 when riding a bus through the crowded suburbs of Beijing.“Looking out at the decrepit housing blocks, I had a vague but strong feeling that there was something missing between the ground and the sky,” he recalls.
He felt the urge to add something that would make people take a fresh, long look at these familiar scenes. The extra thing should be “powerful and impossible to ignore, but not something that would make people panic. … Eventually I decided it should be a huge animal.”
In 2010, using photo editing software, he re-imagined the normal proportions of a panda, a rhinoceros, a monkey, a rabbit, a deer and a frog and inserted them at a gigantic scale into dilapidated urban settings for his first series.
By shoehorning these bottom-heavy beasts into back streets, construction sites and tenement courtyards, he highlights the relationships “between nature and human society, between the material world and the intellect, between obedience to and violation of the laws of nature.” It is only when our preconceptions are jolted, Liu Di concludes, that “we wake up and truly see”.
He called this first series “Animal Regulations”