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Painting (MA)

Kalman Pool (Jinpeng Liu)

Kalman Pool (Jinpeng Liu 刘锦鹏) (b.1996, CN) completed his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2019, followed by his MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art in London in 2021. Concurrently he attended the Swatch Art Peace Hotel as Artist-in-Residence, where he was also invited to create a Swatch X You artist special watch.

Solo Exhibitions


Mutation, Red Gate Gallery, Beijing, China

New Tales Retold, iag Gallery (curated by The Magnetic Project), TX Huaihai, Shanghai, China

Group Exhibitions


Hot Air, Manor Place Warehouse (curated by BAD ART PRESENTS), London, UK

Remixing Dream, Sifang Art Museum, Nanjing, China

New Trend Power, Jupiter Museum of Art, Shenzhen, China


Digital Humanity, MOW Museum of Waste, Changsha, China

Time Perception: Through Images and Installations, Coutts Art Center (curated by The Magnetic Project), Shanghai, China

Counter Point, RCA Courtyard Gallery, London, UK


Melon Cauli, Asylum Chapel, London, UK

Playground V2, Venue MOT Unit 18, London, UK


Technical Images, Elastic Arts Foundation, Chicago, US


The Museum: Within and Without, State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Artist Residency


Swatch Art Peace Hotel Artist Residency, Shanghai, China

Jupiter Museum of Art Artist Residency, Shenzhen, China


PLAN8T AIR, Changsha, China

Awards & Collaborations


SWATCH X YOU (Swatch Artist Special Watch), Swiss National Pavilion, Hainan EXPO, Haikou, China

Degree Details

School of Arts & Humanities

Painting (MA)

My interdisciplinary works examine the dialectical relationship between the virtual and physical and are inspired by BioArt, Natural History, and my dramatic intimacy. I am reconciling both by means of fantastically inventing VR-made bio-mutated phantasms, inflatable simulacra, and invented pictographic language installations, inheriting a modernist approach aimed to poetically present a process of constant becoming and intrinsic aliveness embodied in these new beings.

BOY — 250 x 210 x 270 cm
333 — 230 x 150 x 200 cm
BoomSx — 150 x 130 x 200 cm
No. 7734 — 200 x 150 x 200 cm

Aliveness can be traced back to the root of the inflatable sculpture: the inflatable dummy tanks and coherent multi-sensory deceptive strategies utilised by the Ghost Army in WWII to successfully fool the German Army. Ultimately, this first and perhaps only artist-led secret unit in WWII saved thousands of lives through functional inflatable dummies unable to kill. Inflatable tank thus functioned as a modern version of the Trojan Horse. The aliveness is therefore present as both signs and symptoms.

Contemporary artists seem to approach inflatable sculptures as a form of phenomenal public art, inheriting traditions from the 60s with a hybrid of Pop and fetishism elements. However, they inevitably fall into the categories of Baudrillard's ‘representation’, Greenbergian ‘Kitsch’, and Plato’s ‘removal of truth’; consequently, the aliveness is absent. These large scale inflatables are destined to be manufactured using mechanical reproduction methods, deprived of the original, thus creating a new crisis of the original, copyright and perception that reaches into the field of sculpture, Admittedly, technological progression gradually proves Benjamin's profound vision.

Despite being an artwork made using a mechanical reproduction method and a simulacrum simulated through utopian VR, each of my inflatable sculptures JJ gives life in virtue of its physically inflated body with the possibility of interaction with its natural surroundings.

Air and care act as the mechanism that ultimately activates the aliveness of the inflatable, providing the profound leap needed to transform the inanimate into an autonomous living being, thereby transcending beyond mechanically reproduced simulacra.


Sealed PVC polyvinyl chloride plastic


size varies
V & C

I started using Oculus Rift to create VR sculptures in 2018. In the past three years, I have created hundreds of digital VR sculptures. For me, VR is a revolutionary 3D-making tool. In virtue of the "dematerialization" of the digital sculpture and the portability of the VR device, I have been able to bring it to multiple cities across Europe, America, and Asia: where I visited and resided, responding to the local cultures and sculpting on-site. 

Inspired by Natural History and Animal Behavior which I studied in the U.S, within this virtual world, I have invented and portrayed a series of giant hermaphroditic, biologically mutated and autonomous creatures—located in a kind of dystopian era yet poetically presented in the form of public art, ultimately aiming to unconceal the liquid modernity, perhaps a possibility of "constant becoming."


Digital VR Sculpture


size varies
Under Heaven II: Luminous Opera — Coutts Art Center Shanghai, 30 October - 20 December, 2020, fluorescent acrylic, pvc inflatable, LED blacklight, polyester fiber, audio player, 900 x 600 x 400 cm

𝙐𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙧 𝙃𝙚𝙖𝙫𝙚𝙣 𝙄𝙄: 𝙇𝙪𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙤𝙪𝙨 𝙊𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙖 is the largest site-specific fluorescent installation I have ever done, which contains more than 5,000 invented pictographic characters, along with a live performance at the opening night. 

Living and studying in the US and the UK for the past 7 years, I encountered cultural shock, and great dilemmas while dealing with the challenge of the foreign environment, yet also sparked my imagination in creating my pictographic visions.

"Why do we have to learn a foreign language? What if we are capable of communicating without translating one and another cross-culturally?"

I have been creating a series of installations titled "Under Heaven," dedicated to the myth story "The Tower of Babel," which explains why humans speak diverse languages. 

My installations overall aim to create an alienated experience, while also touching a sense of the divine, and triggering confusion and contemplation.


fluorescent acrylic, pvc inflatable, LED blacklight, polyester fiber, audio player


900 x 600 x 400 cm

Phantom of the Palace Hotel reflects my experience and psychological landscape while living and working in the Swatch Art Peace Hotel Artist Residency, which had been fantastic yet accompanied a sense of melancholy. While digging into the history of the former Palace Hotel as the former colonial territory, numerous accidents had happened, countless deaths and phantoms were aroused. Numerous nights wandering around the empty hallway, a sense of sympathy and empathy had arisen, as if I was talking to the invisible, the sacrifice, the phantom, through this memorial yet fragmented imagery.


Synthetic Polymer on canvas


180 x 240 cm