Martin writes: "Liu does not paint from his imagination, or from photographs, preferring to carve out 'a set'from the corner of a pub, or a busy restaurant, or a side street in his hometown, and then direct his subjects. 'It’s primitive, mixing colours on the spot,' he says. 'It is like a peasant labouring on the land. Physical labour and spiritual pleasure come together. They form a strange power. One is exotic while the other is provincial. They create a wonderful chemistry . . . As long as you do this the painting is good because the texture is born in the environment.' "