In 1993 while traveling in the countryside Liu Xiao Dong witnessed an event that had a strong impact on him. A worker fall from a construction site and died. Liu Xiaodong recorded the event on a small size sketch, showing the body of the dead worker lying on the ground with a bleeding head. Impressed by this sudden occurance of Death at a time when he turning 30 and just had a daughter, he kept a vivid memory of the event . That scene and its related concern became obsessive and inspired him several later paintings in 1994, 1999, 2000 .
There is that one theme that you repeat several times, it shows a group of people looking down from the top of a construction site at a man lying on the floor bleeding from the head:
Yes, I experienced that scene when i was traveling in China in 1993. A worker fell off from a construction site and died, I arrived just minutes after he died. i was totally absorbed by that scene and painted a small oil sketch of it on the spot (《Great Death en Plein Air》). Later I thought a lot about it and did several painting on the subject, one in 1993-1999(《Watching》) They are all related. I think as a living person I am always curious about what is death, how does it work, because nobody can talk about it . Being confronted with the raw reality of death is a unique human experience.
—Extract from Liu Xiaodong, Redflag Collection, Map Book Publishers, Hong Kong ,2006