Liu Wei is widely recognised as one of the founding artists of ‘Cynical Realism’, which was prevalent in avant-garde Chinese art in the 1990s and his works have also been referred to as ‘Scar’ painting. His canvases are highly sought after for their political statements and his innovative painting techniques. He developed a unique semi-abstract style that demonstrates wide-ranging influences from the West and East including ‘Expressionism’, Chinese calligraphy and ink-brush painting. Perhaps driven by the social consciousness that comes from the loss of values and standards, his subjects, including animals, people, fruits, flowers, landscapes, feces and maggots, are presented boldly and often in an unpleasant, distorted and at times perverse manner that melt and morph into unidentifiable shapes. Beyond his earlier paintings that sarcastically mock the establishment, Liu Wei’s works, whether figurative or landscape, also explore more universal themes, such as lust, decay, freedom, acceptance and beauty.