Liu Dao 六岛 (or Liù dǎo, a Pinyin phrase meaning "island number 6") is a Shanghai-based art collective of tech-geeks and creative talents driven by innovation and interaction.
The collective produces cutting edge art that constantly contemplates the future of Asia, engages sights and scenes from old and new China and elevates the skills of new talents by working from a communal forum.
Liu Dao's art is visual, interactive, conceptual, humorous, and somber - but always striking, always involving fresh takes on modern technology, and always the product of collaboration.
Since Liu Dao's beginning, painters, sculptors, photographers, filmmakers, new media artists, software and digital imaging artists, dancers, writers, engineers and curatorshave worked together to produce original, intriguing shows.
island6 Arts Center often features guest directors and guest curators for different exhibitions, allowing an international and cross-cultural foundation for original ideas to be born from many sources of input rather than one.
The island6 art collective (Liu Dao 六岛) has appeared in acclaimed art fairs around the world, including Art Paris1, the Hong Kong Art Fair2, SHContemporary3, Scope New York4 and Basel5, Art Asia Miami, Los Angeles Art Show and Art Stage Singapore6.
Special invitations for solo and group shows include Louis Vuitton Cultural Space in Taipei7and Macao8, Opposite House9 and Green T. House10 in Beijing, represented by Red Gate Gallery where the group had its first ever solo exhibition11 in August, 2010. In 2011, Liu Dao was invited to The Arts House12 in Singapore for a solo exhibition. Rockbund Art Museum also worked with Liu Dao on a special Christmas Project13 in December that year. The following summer, Liu Dao engaged in an “explain-your-art”14 showcase by special invitation with the Chivas Collective at Three on the Bund. The collective was also invited by Smithsonian Anacostia Museum to display artwork at their fall exhibition.
In recent years, Liu Dao has also forged partnerships with acclaimed galleries in China and around the world. Apart from long-time partners Red Gate Gallery in Beijing, and studio rouge in Shanghai, Liu Dao is also represented by Art Seasons Gallery in Singapore . After that, Liu Dao travelled to Dubai15 where it co-operated with Gallery Etemad. Liu Dao has also travelled to Bangkok16 and New York17, where it is represented by Tally Beck Contemporary and presented two solo shows, 2011's Plugged In18 and 2012's Sin City19.Most recently, Liu Dao established an exciting new collaboration with Bath Street Gallery20of Auckland.
Liu Dao is exclusively represented in Hong Kong at island6’s second space21 in the art district of Sheung Wan.
The spirit and purpose behind all Liu Dao artworks, literary contributions, and exhibitions is collaboration. The group places emphasis on interaction in order to engage artists, curators and technicians in the process of creating and experiencing art focusing on collective rather than individual values, with the direct aim of benefiting a young Chinese contemporary art scene promotionally and creatively.
An appealing comparison is to the film industry: the island6 gallery acts as the producer for the artists (actors), curators (film directors), while utilising the skills of cameramen, set designers, choreographers, scenographers, and writers. The digital artworks produced by island6 also use postproduction editors, such as Affect Effect experts or sound designers. Each artwork and exhibition has a cast with credits for people of different skills.
The art collective is sponsored by island6 Arts Center, an art gallery and production studio in Shanghai’s Moganshan art district, M50. The Arts Center provides all materials and hires the necessary skilled labor or technicians, including volunteers and interns, to assist art production. At island6, all the work exhibited is made on site and specifically for the theme of a trimestral show.
The collective works on a flexible open platform process that ensures all artworks are the result of synergetic thought between multiple collaborators. Brainstorming takes place in the form of conversation, written statements, spontaneous film shoots, and experimentation with prototypes. After curators conceptualise a theme, the artists create pieces specific to the theme of the exhibition. Through this close collaborative process there is an ongoing dialogue between curator, art director and artist.
The island6 team consists of artists, art directors, curators and guest curators as well as a technical team. When the collective is not making art, each individual helps in running the exhibition space.
The collective regularly invites performers and guest curators to come onboard for individual artworks or themed shows. The collective has ranged from 6 to 22 people since its inception in 2006.