Fond of using bright primary colours and simple backgrounds to convey a complex story of the characters in his work, Liu Ye confesses that “every painting is a self-portrait… the little girls, therefore, are me, but more beautiful.” Unlike many other artists who widely apply their experiences growing up during the Cultural Revolution into their artworks with genres such as ‘Political Pop‘ and ‘Cynical Realism‘, Liu Ye, who returned to China only in 1995 after studying in Germany for four years, remains distant from any political references in his work. He prefers to see art as something universal and not emanating from a specific country. His paintings do reflect however the changing national legacy of his generation with his subversive humour and suggestions to the noir genre with its cynical, sexual and urban references. The artist is inspired by works of Mondrian and Vermeer, and considers himself a Neoclassical artist, sharing Mondrian’s rigorous adherence to geometry, balance and order, whilst referring to Vermeer’s gentle, sumptuous colours and brushworks. As a result, he creates works that have a unique pictorial language, which transcends his works into timeless paintings.