RE-IMAGING LANDMARK ART
If the art doesn’t grab your attention, the artist’s personality certainly will. YuLiang Liu – better known as YUYU, is a multidisciplinary artist with a unique approach.
This Berlin, Germany-based artist reappropriates Western European iconic artworks to add inclusivity and de-stigmatize nudity through digital photography and its manipulation. He’s originally from Taiwan, but his relocation to Berlin in 2015 proved to be the catalyst for his self-expression.
“My works are self-portraits in which I put myself into the picture. When I moved to Germany, I felt I had to stand out for my voice to be heard. Western European art doesn’t portray other voices, minorities or communities.”
YUYU recontextualizes familiar artworks. He explains: “Those artworks are their cultural heritage. So the reaction of replacing those famous characters inside them, playing with the mythology that comes from Ancient Greek and such things, and placing myself in the center as a very gay, very Asian feminine person, is beautiful. The message I create is provocative – and humorous – and makes the audience think.”
He’s been involved in the NFT space since May 2021. YUYU identified how technology connected to art in the NFT space and fell in love with its potential. According to him, the space provides the opportunity to empower his life and message through art. “The NFT community creates infinite opportunities. There’s a real possibility that my life and art can grow and be successful; that’s the most beautiful part of this space.”
YuYu’s since showcased his artwork in New York galleries, displayed it in Times Square and sold it to major collectors. But, for YUYU, the community motivates and drives him forward. Through his NFTs, he’s been able to connect more easily with other artists. “Hopefully, I can collaborate with some in the future. For me, it isn’t about the money but the human connection of what I can achieve and reach. I couldn’t have these connections without web3 and its network of people.”
According to YUYU, another aspect of NFTs and the emergence of NFT marketplaces is the highly competitive space it has created and fostered. He believes it pushes artists to strive to create ever more meaningful artwork and that the blockchain is redefining how the world views art. “The blockchain will push art to evolve in ways we cannot even imagine today.”