Jawshing Arthur Liou creates video installations that depict spaces often not probable in reality. Working with both lens-based representation and digital post-production, he aims to transform recognizable imagery into realms of otherworldly experience. Liou’s Blood Work series (2003-6), which deals with his daughter’s Leukemia treatment, received critical acclaim from Lisa Freiman, the commissioner of the U.S. pavilion at the 2011 Venice Biennale. In her essay titled “Resisting Invisibility”, Freiman stated, “Arthur Liou’s high definition video series, Blood Work, repudiates (the) destructive responses to long-term illness by forcing himself and, by extension, the public to witness in microscopic detail an aesthetic expression of the disease. Simultaneously horrifying and uncannily beautiful, Liou’s work constitutes an ongoing constructive response to his young daughter Vivian’s struggle with leukemia.”
After his daughter’s passing, Liou’s work turned to a path of spiritual reflection and religious sanctuary. The Improbable Waves series (2008-9), rendered through 3D modeling procedures, simulates realistic ocean movement based on actual oil paint. The waves turn slowly and heavily, mirroring the artist’s solemn contemplation on loss and recovery. The Anicca series (2009-10) deals with Liou’s experience in Japan, where he filmed scenery around ancient temples and religious sites. With multi-channel video installation and animation based on landscape colors and textures, the works aim to evoke the transitory nature of time and space.
Liou’s videos and prints are in numerous public and private collections. Recent acquisitions include the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (2011), Museum of Fine Arts Houston (2009), and the Indianapolis Museum of Art (2005). His works have traveled internationally, including exhibitions in New York, Chicago, London, Montréal, Houston, Osaka, Hong Kong, and Taipei; and film and media festivals in Sweden, Italy, Denmark, and Brazil. Liou is the recipient of Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship, Indianapolis (2010), Taipei Artist Village Residency, Taipei City Government, Taiwan (2010), Garry B. Fritz Award from the Society for Photographic Education National Conference, Chicago (2006), Rising Star Award from Palm Beach Photographic Center (2004), and over a dozen grants and $150,000 research funding from Indiana University. International presentations of his work include the SIGGRAPH conference in Vancouver (2011) and the European Biennial Conference of the Society for Science, Literature, and the Arts in Amsterdam (2006). Liou is currently the Associate Professor and Area Head of Digital Art at Indiana University, Bloomington.