Video Art • Experimental Film
Human-Cannabis II: ASA
Inspired by the ancient worship of hemp in Japan, ASA (the Japanese pronunciation of hemp) is a memorial of the plant's cultural heritage, enduring spiritual connections and untold histories. [... More]
House of the Singing Winds
House of the Singing Winds is a 3-channel video installation inspired by the historic Indiana home and studio of painter Theodore Clement (T.C.) Steele. The environment was captured throughout the seasons in extremely detailed ultra-high-definition video, while the interior movements are recorded exclusively in stop motion animation.
Jigoku is a series of landscape videos of geothermal sites in Kyushu, Japan. In a small town Beppu, selective hot springs are renowned for the dramatic physical appearance and are named Jigoku, a Japanese word for “Hell.” The videos aim to capture the profound spiritual quality of the landscape, while contemplating on the relationship between change and perpetuity in a geological scale. [... More]
Behind the Waves
The video art project “Behind the Waves” (浪後) is based on the foot journey in areas savaged by the 2011 tsunami in Japan. Liou trekked along the coastline in Fukushima, Miyagi, and Iwate Prefecture in spring 2014. In addition to documenting the entire walk with first person perspective video, the project aims to evoke a sense of resolve and empathy through the views of local volunteers. Horizon is filmed in the hands of 35 local participants. The audio is recorded during their shoots. [... More]
Human-Cannabis I: Sonnet 27
Sonnet 27 is inspired by the scientific research of endocannabinoids, a group of chemicals produced in animal brains similar to the effect of cannabis. They bind to receptors responsible for some of the crucial cognitive functions, including our ability to learn, to control emotions and to mitigate traumatic memories. The video installation hints on the prehistorical contact between human and cannabis. [... More]
Liou's pilgrimage to Mount Kailash, a Tibetan mountain that is sacred in four world religions. The quest was a search for sanctuary following the death of his young daughter Vivian from leukemia in 2007. [... More]
Feast and Metamorphosis
The Insatiable is composited from a dozen footages filmed at an open night market. The visual strategy adopts a fusion of microscopic and macroscopic perspectives. The streetlights and mingling walkers are transformed into bodies of massive creatures, bearing resemblance to snakes, dragons, or even huge intestines. [... More]
The Anicca series is comprised of 2 pieces, Anicca is a vertical video that displays a continually ascending spiral form. The textures and shapes change slowly but surely, with an organic appearance of nature and seasonal change. Nachi, on the other hand, is a four-video installation. Each video represents a perspective about the famous waterfall, Nachi. The Japanese consider Nachi a sacred site, where many ancient religious ceremonies are still performed each year.
Improbable Waves is a series of video animation processed from images from oil paint. The slowly moving waves in Maelstrom and Crossing are mindscapes, a reservoir of our emotions, for the artist to reflect on life’s tragedy. The expansive waves are heavily inflenced by Liou's study on the Buddhist concept of space and time. [... More]
The Blood Work series–including the videos CBC (2003), Blasts (2004), Hairline (2005), and Elements (2006)–abstracts medical imagery taken of Liou’s daughter, Vivian, who was diagnosed with and eventually succumbed to leukemia. The series confronts the illness and the frightening effects of its treatment. The compositions are based on the visual similarity between normal blood cells and cancer cells, as well as the cyclical nature of sickness and health during treatment. [... More]
Jawshing Arthur Liou is an artist with a background in photography, digital media, film, and journalism. His recent projects include a pilgrimage in the sacred mountains in Tibet, a journey through the tsunami-ravaged coastline of Japan, and a cinematic collaboration with a brain scientist regarding the connection between endocannabinoids and memory. Liou works with lens-based materials and electronic imaging to create installations depicting mental and surreal spaces. Many of his videos do not contain clear narratives but are meditative in nature, allowing time to slow to a ruminative pace while spatial scales oscillate between the microcosmic and infinitely expansive. Using sources ranging from landscapes and oil paint to human body, much of Liou’s work is related to notions of impermanence, human tragedy, and spiritual sanctuary.
Liou’s videos and prints have been featured in programs, exhibitions, and collections in Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Rubin Museum in New York, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Indianapolis Museum of Art, National Gallery Victoria, Melbourne, Seoul Museum of Art, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Red Brick Museum, Beijing, Art Basel: Hong Kong, and Sharjah Biennial. Liou is the recipient of Asian Cultural Council Grant, New York; Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship, Indianapolis; and Garry B. Fritz Award from the Society for Photographic Education National Conference, Chicago. International presentations of his work include SIGGRAPH conference; European Biennial Conference of the Society for Science, Literature, and the Arts; and Chicago Humanities Festival. Liou is currently the Herman B. Wells Professor of Digital Art at Indiana University, Bloomington.