A figurative painter with an understated touch, Liu Xiaodong (born 1963 in Liaoning province, China) is one of China's leading and most passionate artists. He has found a way to chronicle—without cynicism—what might be called the psychic landscape of a society in transition.
The Three Gorges Project: Paintings by Liu Xiaodong features five large scale oil paintings that focus on China's massive Three Gorges Dam project on the Yangzi River. Under construction since 1994, the Three Gorges Dam is the biggest building project undertaken in China since the Great Wall, and will be the world's largest hydroelectric facility. Yet the dam, scheduled for completion in 2009, has stirred intense worldwide debate, both for its environmental and social impact on the land and population along the river.
In 2003 Liu began working on a series of mostly large canvases in which the massive Three Gorges Dam serves as an allegory of the spiritual cost of material progress. Documenting an extraordinary moment in Chinese history, the monumental artworks presented in The Three Gorges Project poignantly address the project's equally significant physical and social impact on the region and its population.