It’s people - it doesn’t matter whether they’re friends, family, acquaintances or sources of inspiration from the world of cinema, literature or culture in general - they are the stars of this first personal exhibition of Liu Xiaodong at the UCCA Edge. Liu Xiaodong, who made realism and painting en plein air, often in areas of geopolitical relevance, a recurring motif in his artistic work, reveals himself in this exhibition. The monographic exhibition opens with a large “itinerant” self-portrait of the artist - based on the photos of the artist himself huddling over the grave of his father in his ancestral village of Heitu (Black Land), a handful of miles from Jincheng in Northeast China, then completed in New York, where Liu spent an important year in his career (1993-1994) and most of 2020 in quarantine in an apartment in Manhattan with his wife Yu Hong and his daughter Liu Wa, both artists. But it’s not just the self-portrait that speaks of the master, also the subjects that Liu chose to give form to his universe of affections and friendships do so - contemporary creative types, inspirations for his work, quotidian interlocutors like famed writer Ah Cheng, but also his mother, his brother and a family friend contribute to showing a different aspect of his personality. Besides the paintings, there are also a series of smaller works on paper, photos, magazines, archival materials and, above all, a new film by director Yang Bo which documents the process and creative context of the artist.