In 2019, the Greater China region accounted for just under a quarter of the global spend on art and is now the third largest art market in the world. With Shanghai at the epicenter of its rapidly expanding contemporary art scene, collectives like Liu Dao (also known as island6) are spearheading the fashionable expressions of a younger demographic. This team of artists is the subject of a recent article in the online magazine luxurydefined by Christie’s International Real Estate.
“Everything is a product of collaboration” is the motto of Liu Dao, which speaks with a single collective voice. Established by three artists and curators—Thomas Charvériat, Zheng Guoyang, and Kang Jingfang—in 2006, the group produces art that “constantly contemplates the future of Asia, engages sights and scenes from old and new China, and always involves fresh takes on modern technology.”
“The island6 center originally hosted residencies for international artists, inviting them to produce art and exhibit locally,” Liu Dao explains. “Everyone was curious about opportunities in China at the time and, over the course of two years, 120 foreign artists took part.”
That process continued until 2008, when the decision was made to look closer to home. “The talent was foreign, but very few in Shanghai wanted to buy foreign art.” So, the group picked 10 of their best local artists and formed the Liu Dao collective, taking an inward-looking approach.
Today, Liu Dao embraces the technological constructs of modern-day life as an opportunity for artistic expression and freedom of thought, and works with performers, painters, sculptors, and many other disciplines. Its art is always the result of a collaboration and challenges the status quo.