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Hanyang Liu

MA work

Plain Water

Plain Water is made up of three pieces of painting and flyers. The painting was made as a trace of a rectangular ice block melted that had two Chinese words of ‘plain water’, which I have painted by using Chinese calligraphy brush; and there is a video that is a fast-forward record of the process of one painting from the three, which will appear as photograph sequence images on flyers to present along with the three painting and free to take by viewers.  The original form of this work was a performance which was performed in a garden that I do meditation within. The key of the performance was about meditating as I sit there watched the ice melted for a quite long period of time.

When I have reviewed the work of Plain Water and took consideration of the concept behind the work I realized it not only about Zen meditation, it is also strongly inspired by an ancient Buddhist sutra called The Heart of Prajna Paramita Sutra. The content of this Sutra addresses and states the idea of Shape (Matter, Form) is Emptiness (Energy) and Emptiness creates Shapes. As the result, I would prefer this work not to be a performance since it would overcome the main concept. 


  • MA Degree


    School of Arts & Humanities


    MA Photography, 2018

  • As a fine artist with over 8 years of educational experience, I have had ample time to dabble in what is to me the most fascinating artistic theme - metaphysical nothingness. This is reflected throughout most of my works, where I have had much experience with various media such as performance art and the visual arts of painting and photography. It is my belief that photography is the best medium for expressing nothingness as one is able to present the idea via depicting reality, thus creating an instant marriage between artistic intention and reality. My artistic project aims to propose a universal, visual language that presents the idea of nothingness. Specifically, I would like to find a way of visually expressing the idea of the self being defined by the external, that is, the universal, while the individual, in turn, defines the universe. In essence, this will depict my understanding of how the interaction between two domains of nothingness gives birth to “somethingness”. 

    The focus of my artistic practices is essentially representations of my empirical life at the same time resonate with some of the core principles of Buddhist philosophy, which remains another integral source of inspiration for many of his works. My desire to form a connection between multi-media forms of fine art and Eastern philosophical thoughts in my artworks arises from a desire to stretch the limits of his artwork, and express his inner-spirit in recent days.

  • Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts (HONS), Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London, 2016; CCW Foundation Diploma in Art And Design, University of the Arts London, 2013; Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, 2012
  • Exhibitions

  • RAQUI OLVENBIS, The Gallery in the Corner, London, 2015; DEADPAN, Nolia's Gallery, London, 2014; Chelsea College of Arts Undergraduate Summer Show, Chelsea College of Arts, 2016