At almost about the same time in which an intense and continuing debate about the fate and future of Chinese ink paintings was waging on, Liu Yiyuan took more than 20 years (from 1986 to date) immersed in hard work and provided for Chinese art critics a pictorial "text" which can be explained from many angles. He inherited the Chinese landscape tradition that "Heart habitates the scene, heart moves the hand" while transcended the schema of those predecessors and established his own unique narrative style: "Landscape of the Mind". The use of the word "Landscape" in relation to its traditional Chinese counterpart "mountain and water" easily induces the association with Western painting tradition. In fact, Liu Yiyuan's 20 years of art practice can be put into the path of "Nourish Chinese with Western nutrients". Many critics has found, from their point of views in different ways, new meanings in "Landscape of the Mind", which fully shows a breakthrough by Liu Yiyuan and his peers in the "Recycling meanings" that has been instinct with Chinese modern ink painting art. They are meaningful expressions in the interesting current culture context.
Liu Yiyuan successfully achieved his artistic language conversion and modern painting form evolution while seeking to express the various thoughts and perplexities in the pursuit of modern technological and liberal sciences. In contemporary Chinese ink painting circle, Liu Yiyuan is rare in his step by step transformation from the traditional Chinese landscape paintings to the free abstract expression. As his earlier realistic landscape paintings are Chinese-style realism, his "Landscape of the Mind" is also thick in the abstract expression of those oriental cultural elements. Liu Yiyuan has attracked the attention of contemporary Chinese culture critics with open eyes on social transformation. Their issues of interest not only lies in "another kind of modernity" reflected in his paintings which closely links with the current reality of China and differs from modern Western paintings, but also how these narratives become such powerful visual languages with their own concepts and spiritualities. Almost all of the comments referred to his creative use of white thick paint. It is an important language element that represents the artist's indomitable spirit and a symbol of the spirit of contemporary Chinese culture.