邓维东 新疆美术家协会主席 Chairman of Xinjiang Artists Association
I have visited the huge great work of his for the second time. To be honest, I really feel shocked in my heart. Over the years, Professor Liu has dedicated himself to the painting. His professional dedication is expressed incisively and vividly in the work. I have seen the comments of many domestic famous artists and theorists on it, and I think no comment is too extreme. This is because his understanding of Xinjiang and the twelve muqam of the minority, so to speak, is impossible to be understood by the great majority of people. The understanding of minority culture, as it were, is to the point. In addition, he has been deep into such grassroots units in Xinjiang as Hotan and Kashgar, etc. for many times to mine a source for his creation. So each of the figures looks so real, lofty and shocking.
In my opinions, for contemporary art history, this work is a classic one, and to him, it is also a milestone. In this sense, I think he not only moves the audiences and shocks the literary world, but also shows us his deep understanding of the application of Chinese painting at the present times, so the work is the first one worthy of appreciation today. This work resonates with all of us, the artists who are familiar with Xinjiang. Besides, this work also creates a new path for Chinese modern arts, and presents a milestone to the Chinese painting artists.
● 如果说人物画是一筐水果，那么，我执意的是那只苹果、香蕉, 或是梨头。
贾德江 著名艺术评论家、出版人 Chinese art critic and publisher
● 一个甲子又一轮，也算小有了年岁。本命年，选几张画办个画展，在北京。 会会新朋老友，听听同行絮叨，不为别的，只是一种生活的绿。
I have known Xiaofang for a long time. At the begining of 1990s, we once worked together in a publishing house; after that I went to art academy and also he came to the academy. We two are brought together by fate..
Xiaofang, being of strong build, is very honest and sincere, and seems a blunt man at the first glance. To be sure, he is forceful, but he is of fine sentiments as well. Treating people with gentleness, he is willing to help others all the time; he works hard and arranges everything very well. Always remaining silent, and yet being quick-witted, he speaks and acts methodically but enthusiastically.
When seeing his work for the first time, I feel shocked in my soul. I am moved deeply in my heart. What is shocking is the works unconcealed magnificence. What is touching is that each and every living character shaped in the work is the immortalized spiritual world that the artists art perspective points to and a nation longs for after going through all the vicissitudes of life. His blood and tears are sublimated in this work. Creatively, he takes Takla Makan Desert, where the Uyghur old folk artists cant help thinking attentively in the desert dust, as the carrier, and uses the quite difficult techniques to combine multiple art elements in the East and West such as the traditional, modern, elaborate-style, freehand, ink washing, colorific and reasonable ones together, to present a visual strength and impact, thereby to interpret the dust-laden history of Takla Makan Desert and the endless spirits, to finally constitute such a great epic historical scroll, being so soul-stirring.
Early in 1970s, when Xiaofang was just at his age of a little over twenty, his paintings were often chosen as exhibits and awarded on Shanghai as well as national exhibitions of paintings. But he has never made parade of his achievements. I didnt know his early paintings until I read them on some retrospective art exhibitions; from his early paintings, I understand his art experience and his art style.
Figure pictures painted by Xiaofang have style of practice. At the beginning of 1980s, his paintings such as Pig girl, Milky white, Creators, etc. exerted a certain influence on society.
Creators, painted in 1983, is a large theme picture with a number of figures. Xiaofang arranged these figures very well in behaviors and in positions. The fact that he has used the modern technique of expression introduced from foreign countries is especially commendable; this shows his courage in exploration.
In more than twenty years after that, Xiaofang has made great efforts to explore a new way of figure paintings in the background of transformation in Chinese paintings. A series of his paintings tells us that he has had the idea of the modern plane design on the basis of tradition; interlaced with time and space, and mixing color with ink, his paintings have revealed the effect of plane ornament and formed a distinctive art language of his own.
● 今天，我们相邀在这里，下一个龙年，我还在这里等候，不见不散，谁也不能缺席。不亦乐乎? 不亦君子乎!
Professor in Department of Painting, Academy of Art Design, Tsinghua University
We can see a marked progress from Xiaofangs paintings he made in recent years. His paintings, in several years ago, were deficient in figures and colors, but now are greatly improved, such as in Resonated with the bugle, Advancing further, etc. He has not only broadened his horizons in artistic creation but also developed his painting languages, becoming more rounded and forceful and richer in his painting technique. In recent years, Xiaofang has improved figure shapes, developed subjects, weighed his techniques repeatedly and painstakingly created a number of excellent paintings. In the whole year of 2009, his paintings have been chosen as exhibits on four national art exhibitions. Few painters can do what he did.
Theme paintings are the most vivid, moved and importent parts in Xiaofangs paintings. All his paintings, such as Resonated with the bugle, Up and down, Advancing further, Harmony, Peoples hope on us, Flowering years, etc., are related to all parts of the society, including construction of the army, revolutionary ancestors, earthquake relief work, life of common people, etc., showing his keen sense of responsibility for the society and strict attitude to the painting..
In addition to good comprehension, Xiaofangs achievement comes with assiduity, observation and exploration uninterruptedly. No matter how busy and how tired he is in day-to-day work, Xiaofang perseveres in his studies and creations of art. This indomitable spirit comes from his ardent love for art.
I have been painting for 10 years. Simply put, painting is about shape and soul.
I do feel Brother Xuanrangs explorations and practices in the monumental work in recent years. He has indeed made great efforts and explorations in such aspects as academic researches, arts, teachings and his insights on life before being able to embody the spirits and states of human life, as well as mankinds exhausting thirst for freedom, and a sad but stirring paean of life. I think this is not what ordinary painters can do. Actually, even dramatists, film producers and litterateurs can hardly present such a historic picture even if they try every means. In this sense, I think Brother Xuanrangs this work deserves to be called a masterpiece in the present and a great work produced from a very glorious, grand and fruitful exploration on Chinese painting works in the new period.
It is a joyful thing for us to see that Xiaofang, taking him many years of painstaking work, compiles an album of paintings. As his colleague and friend, I heartily rejoice at him. This album represents a review and a summary of the past, as well as foretells a new starting point for a painter. It is to be hoped that Xiaofang will establish a new branch in paintings and make another leap in art.
If portrait painting is a basket of fruit, Im mesmerized by that very apple, banana or pear.
Another 12-year cycle has gone by, and Im getting up there. This is the year of the dragon, my birth year. I have picked some works and organized this show in Beijing. Catching up with old pals, meeting new friends and discussing tirelessly with peers - there is no particular purpose other than keeping life green.
For me, painting is an interest, a way to make a living and an ability to give back to the society.
史国良 中国国家画院著名画家 A Researcher at China National Academy of Painting
Be it overwhelming and dramatic, be it quiet and peaceful, life has since been filled with shapes and colors because of her.
And now, that heaviness has faded away, and the once overtly aggressive passion has turned into a calming length, as if it is another old partner of mine.
In this life, Im destined to accompany her, not letting go. Together we walk towards the furthest of life.
I feel shocked, excited and moved while seeing the huge great work. Liu Xuanrang has hardened himself in the painting world for many years. This is necessary for every artist. But it cant be said you will create a great work as long as you are experienced and hardened. Some people has failed to create a good work even if they have worked hard for a lifetime. Liu Xuanrang really shocks me a lot by creating such a huge great work at this time. It is a monumental work, for which he has planned for many years and made lots of painstaking efforts, so it is very important and influential. This painting, actually, is an affection that has been accumulated in Liu Xuanrangs heart for years, and now its burst out. Besides, hes familiar with the land, and he has integrated all his years of life experiences in Xinjiang and feelings for Xinjiang into the great work. With his unique art language, Xuanrang tells a story, to which the ordinary people want and like to listen. This is his great success. Because the huge work has taken him a long time, his perseverance is obvious to everybody. This painting is like a large carpet, which he weaves with his feelings and life. It seems Xuanrangs inner feelings are mixed up with sands, smelling like sands. This is his greatest success.
I am grateful for the grand love the creator has given me. Its my luck. This era blesses me.
Today, we see each other here as promised. When the next year of the dragon comes, I will be right here waiting for you - be there or be square, no one shall be missed. Is it not delightful? Is this not what gentlemen do!
Deputy Director of Arts Research Institute at Chinese National Academy of Arts
Today, Im moved and shocked deeply by the monumental work! Why am I moved? As a famous contemporary painter, Liu Xuanrang has spent more than 40 years in creating the painting alone, to finally complete such a shocking great work. In the current society which is materialistic and full of temptations, he could refuse all temptations and dedicate himself to finishing the great work. Such an attitude of his, which enables him to pay the price for arts, and even dedicates himself to arts, is admirable. The whole creation process is filled with the painters blood and tears. With mental and physical exhaustions, he has finished such a great work. This is indeed touching.
While seeing the drawing, I first see the picture that is very shocking. The western mode of composition isnt applied to the composition of the entire work, which is unfolded in a planar way, so that the picture seems to have an oppressing sensation both in a near and far distance, so his constitutive form is consistent with his lofty tone of drawing. As we all know, many painters draw paintings about Xinjiang or ethnic minority figures, and they have completed lots of paintings of this kind, but many of the artists just display the ethnic minority themes as ethnic customs. However, Xuanrangs this work is out of the ordinary. He displays the special cultural phenomenon formed by the region and land as a spokesman of the cultural phenomenon. It is a mission for him to display this way, and he would repent forever if he couldnt accomplish the mission. With the sense of mission, he starts to create the work, so his theme is different from others. It is nothing less than the native-born emotion that urges him to the finish the great work. So this work is quite touching. Such a great work also urges us to show sensation and solicitude for life.
孙克 中国著名美术评论家 Chinese Art Critic
This huge figure painting of Liu Xuanrang describes the vivid character images of the grass-roots people in Xinjiang who sing the twelve muqam. Due to his years of life accumulation in Xinjiang, profound understanding of Xinjiang, deep love for Uighur people and deep experience and understanding of their culture and history, he feels that both the young and old Uighur people in Xinjiang inherit and perpetuate the culture with their lives. Twelve muqam itself contains the history, religion and the breath of the peoples livelihood, so it is a concentrated reflection of ethnic culture. Xuanrangs simple and strong feelings for Xinjiang people are reflected in this huge work. Its not easy for an artist to spend many years in saving and fostering emotion accumulations to complete creation. This is his ideal and faith. As far as I can see, this huge work of Xuanrang is a shocking masterpiece among Chinese figure paintings in the recent decade