Grizedale Arts


Jen Liu

Born 1975.

At Grizedale

Jen Liu was selected for a Grizedale residency in spring 2005 on the back of her bullish and accomplished animation 2304 is a Beer Drinking Year (5').

Working in a variety of media, but mostly film, performance and drawing, Jen examines culture and politics through a patchwork of pop culture references including music, icons, narrative tropes, digital and print graphics. The results see the creation of imaginary fantastical worlds in which aspects of the real world are intensified through allegory and hidden motivations, further heightened through the use of mass media aesthetics. Often starting with a positive premise such as universal peace, the future as a beer drinking utopia, new international holidays and rediscovered spirituality, Liu makes up fictional narratives that bring these premises to their il/logical conclusion. However, what at first appears to be both pop and pleasurable on the surface; on closer inspection reveals that all-too familiar, dark and sinister world.

During her residency Jen was taken to Rydal caves, the ruins of Furness Abbey, Millom, Haverigg stone circle, Blackpool Illuminations, and Egremont. Jen is of the 'cards close to the chest' school of R&D, not really revealing much of her mind during her stay, happy and contented enough and just soaking it all in. Shortly after the data came back to us with a shrink wrapped hybrid world of stone-worshipping prog rock monks all distilled from the spirit of West Cumbria.

Jen is one of three Grizedale associates who have allegedly copped off with Jude Law (on separate occasions).

Project Contributions


March 2005- ongoing

Selected Shows

Solo Exhibitions
2010 Brody Condon and Jen Liu, On Stella Rays, New York, USA
2009 The Last Alphabet/Pasta Belt Health, Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2008 Drastic Measures, Unknown Pleasures, Ceri Hand Gallery, Liverpool, UK
Insurrection for a Million or One
, Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2007 New Dawn Fades, Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery, Los Angeles

Group Exhibitions
2010 You Can Heal Your Life!, curated by Emma Gray, Circus Gallery, LA, USA Never Can Say Goodbye (film programme), No Longer Empty, New York, USA
2009 The Fruits of Traumata, with Olaf Brzeski, Theresa Frolich, Czarna Gallery, Warsaw, Poland
Building Paradise
, 7+Fig Art Space, LA, USA
2008 Agrifashionistas, Royal Academy, London
New Collections III
, Centre PasquART, Biel/Bienne, Switzerland
The Violet Hour: Matthew Day Jackson, Jen Liu, and David Maljkovic
, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA