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Seventy Two

Seventy Two

In 72, Liu personalized the Kabbalistic system known as 72 Names of God, derived from the Book of Exodus in the Old Testament. These names are commonly assembled in three-letter combinations in Aramaic and arranged in a grid diagram of eight squares by nine squares. It is believed that by simply scanning the letters, this diagram functions as a spiritual tool used for manifesting one’s hopes and desires. In 72, Liu substituted the Aramaic letters with abstract drawings in ink and acrylic that reveal her virtuosity with the medium. Some of the drawings are loose and calligraphic, with spatters and brushstrokes that transgress the boundaries of the paper support. Others are created using a range of delicate washes that appear to float on the surface. In employing a variety of techniques and scale, Liu has imbued each drawing with a kind of unique personality, even while their consistently black, white, and gray palette and integration into a grid system unify them into a whole. Liu also wrote aphorisms for each of the seventy-two names. The statements function as philosophical meditations that complement the visually dynamic content of her drawings. 72 was later reproduced in a silkscreened book published in a special edition of 1000 copies, as well as in a limited edition box of seventy-two copies. The limited edition boxes each contain a signed print of one of the drawings. The book is available for purchase here.

Written by Jennifer Field

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Seventy Two