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Liu Xia (*1959, Beijing) is a photographer, artist and poet whose work focuses on freedom of expression and is rooted in traditional Chinese values. During the relatively liberal 1980s, she was an active member of the art scene in Beijing, which at the time was experimental and beginning to open up to the world. In 1996 she married writer Liu Xiaobo, who was jailed in 2009 for his open letter to the Communist Party. Since his imprisonment, Liu Xia was her husband’s spokesperson. After Liu Xiaobo received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, his wife Liu Xia was placed under house arrest, which continues to this day, even after Liu Xiaobo’s death in prison in July 2017. 

Created by Liu Xia during the time of Liu Xiaobo’s labor reeducation in 1996–1999, her series “Ugly Babies” for which she is best known outside of China evokes confinement and repression.

“You may find the dolls in my photos have lives and the silk in my photos have soul.” Liu Xia


Solo Exhibitions

2011–2013
Musee Landowski, Boulogne-Billancourt, France Centre culturel de la ville de Madrid, Spain
Centre culturel Monjuich, Barcelone, Spain
Columbia University, New York, USA
University of Richmond, Virginia, USA
Hong Kong University, HK
Chinese University of Hong Kong, HK
Taipei Human Rights Museum, Taiwan
Berlin Kunsthalle; Germany
Warsaw Geremek Foundation, Gallery Soho, Poland
Hamburg Kunsthalle, Germany
Tokyo international Press center, Japan
Kyoto Foil Gallery, Japan
Claremont McKenna College, Los Angeles., USA
Dox Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague, Czech Republic