Liu’s paintings approach ideas of urban development from a future-fiction standpoint; his Purple Air series are unnerving predictions depicting the globe as one planetary megalopolis. Verging on abstraction, Liu’s imagined skyscrapers tower with a density exceeding space, their linear forms lit up like circuit boards, transmitting a bar-code existence. Devoid of any hint of nature, even the sky is stylised as screensaver inanity, toxic backdrops of smoggy grey or purple hanging over all. The title is taken from the Toaist scripture, where the term “purple air” denotes the original life force in the creation of the universe.

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