Liu Wei: Invisible Cities
Liu Wei’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States, Invisible Cities, takes its title from Italian writer Italo Calvino’s novella of the same name. Presented across two institutions (moCa and the Cleveland Museum of Art) and developed in direct response to both spaces’ architecture, Invisible Cities presents a constellation of works that employs abstraction and fragmentation to create new narratives. Like Calvino’s book—an imagined set of conversations between traveler Marco Polo and the emperor of the thirteenth-century Mongol Empire, Kublai Khan—Liu’s work examines how objects can function as physical traces and intangible links between the visible and invisible. From sculptures carved out of books, a series of cut-up and repurposed household appliances (a refrigerator, a washing machine, and a waffle maker), to architectural monuments made from rawhide dog chews, Liu asks us to examine the relationship between material and power. The installation of works in Invisible Cities echoes the cities Polo describes—fantastical, beguiling places where things are never as they seem—and emphasizes that the world we live in is infinitely larger than what we can see. Liu’s work is an evocative reminder that how we perceive and negotiate our relationship to place allows us to see the conditions of its very construction.
The Cleveland Museum of Art’s presentation of Invisible Cities runs from October 13, 2019–February 9, 2020.
Lead sponsor of Liu Wei’s Invisible Cities: Richard & Michelle Jeschelnig
Major support for the exhibition provided by DLR Group | Westlake Reed Leskosky, Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, and Seoul, and Long March Space, Beijing
Generous support for the exhibition is also provided by Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation, White Cube, and East West Bank.
All current exhibitions are funded by Leadership Circle gifts from anonymous donors, Yuval Brisker, Joanne Cohen & Morris Wheeler, Margaret Cohen & Kevin Rahilly, Becky Dunn, Harriet Goldberg, Agnes Gund, Richard & Michelle Jeschelnig, Kohl Family, Jan Lewis, Toby Devan Lewis, Roy Minoff, and Kelly & Scott Mueller
All moCa Cleveland exhibitions are supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, The Cleveland Foundation, The George Gund Foundation, and the continuing support of the Museum’s Board of Directors, patrons, and members