Liao Yibai, Real Fake

Liao Yibai is a chinese artist whose work tends to be extremely meticulous and somewhat lovely at the same time. He originally wanted to be a painter-after a fated meeting with his now wife- being a sculptor became his option, he found his passion in it and it also left quite a lot of profit, since the Chinese government was most of the time in need of artists to create heroic portraits.

But going into more depth with this show, REAL FAKE leads us to the world of brands, but even more to our LUST for brand names.  It has come to his attention how not only in the Western some people have a certain material obsession, but now it has reached to China, gaining even more of his curiousity, how one simple object can be a source of hapinness, or a bust of confidence in someone, to name just a few of what IT means to a person.

¨Yibai is fascinated with this spreading desire to possess a specific item as if it would bestow some kind of power upon its owner. In a way, he explains, these luxury goods have taken on the role of religion.¨

¨(…)in the past, no matter what one’s belief, religion would provide mental and emotional strength, nowadays more and more people define themselves and gain confidence through specific objects. In a way, luxury goods have begun to replace spirituality.¨

Most of his work is made out of steel, after preliminary studies/sketching on paper, most of his stainless-steel sculptures start out as elaborate, life-size plaster molds. Many of the minute parts demand to be individually hand-welded, while larger sections are carefully hammered around a fiberglass mold. In general Liao Yibai’s work might come as seductive and funny, they are attractive to the eye. REAL FAKE is a dream for all of us brand name lovers, who can’t afford the original but might be able to afford a Liao Yibai to seize our hunger…at least for a few moments.