Liu Chuang
Screen Shot 2018 08 01 At 17 11 55

Liu Chuang (b. 1979, Hubei, China) lived in Shenzhen between 2001-2007, in China’s ‘Special Economic Zone’, and this experience has strongly influenced his work, which reflects upon the personal experience of globalisation, commenting upon the socio-political context of contemporary China. Ranging from the individualised window grilles which started appearing on apartments in the 1990s to the pulp-fiction books from factory workers’ rental stores, his ready-made materials evoke a special melancholy within the collective culture of intensive industry. Liu’s project Buying Everything On You began in 2005, in a labour market in Shenzhen. He approached people who came looking for a job and explained he would like to purchase their belongings to exhibit in a museum. Whilst most refused, a small number agreed, and the deal was concluded at a workers’ clothing store nearby. The transaction had to include every item on their person, including photographs, credit cards, jewellery and personal keepsakes. He has never performed this project outside China before but, having visited Plymouth in 2016, he feels this would be a perfect context in which to make a new series, to be presented on the top floor of House of Fraser as a kind of ‘museum of everyday life’ in the ‘new world’ of globalisation.

House of Fraser Originally called Dingles, this was the first new post-war department store anywhere in the UK, opening on 1 September 1951. It was seen as a sign of a new modern Plymouth - even having the city’s first escalator. A fifth floor was added in 1961 and then a sixth after the fire of 1988 (when it was firebombed by animal activists protesting against the sale of fur). It was recently announced that the Plymouth branch of House of Fraser will be closing in 2019.