BEIJING, Nov. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- "Last Century-Lu Shenzhong's Solo Exhibition" began at Beijing Today Art Museum on November 8th, 2015. In contrast to the experimental exploration of "Future" in August, this exhibition aims to evoke awareness of humanity and cultural responsibility.
It was through "Lu Shengzhong: Paper-cut Art Show" (1988) and "China Avant-Garde" (1989), that Lu Shengzhong's artistic practice first drew public attention. However, in contrast to the Avant-Garde narrative of the so called "85" artistic New-Wave, Lu's artistic practice and thinking, has since its very beginning been marked by "Searching Souls" in Chinese rural tradition and folk art, until the later "Farewell Tradition" which he repeatedly spoke of as a discoursive cornerstone, is seemingly in accordance but actually different from the above stated reconstruction of starting point inside the fashion of Chinese modernist art discourse framework. After 2000, Lu's artistic creation continues even when he is fully occupied by teaching in the department of experimental art at Central Academy of Fine Arts. While he broadens the research of folk art and rural tradition which are excluded by "High Art", he observes and reflects on the transformation of Chinese society after eighty-nine, in an attempt to expand the borders of art.
"Last Century" marks a new start point of Lu's art and thinking, according to which he reinterprets all the exhibiting works, including his previous signature pieces and new pieces. Thus, it is reasonable to think of this exhibition as a refreshed expression of Lu's artistic practice based on the contemporary context.
Lu wrote the following in the preface for the exhibition: "For China, last century marked the start of social transformation. It is the birthplace of the so-called new culture and the beginning of modernization. Issues that we have attempted to solve in the past hundred years, are issues of last century. Great hardships have been endured and great sacrifices made during this period and the results today are not yet what we have yearned for. It could be said that the new century in its real sense has not yet begun." The above shows Lu's intention to communicate with the society and the public on topics of "China", its "Modernity and Modernization", "Rural Tradition" that emphasizes the life philosophy, as well as "Re-Narrative of the Present and Future".
Eleven pieces are shown in the 2/F, 3/F and 4/F exhibition halls of Building No.1 at Today Art Museum, covering 30 years of Lu's artistic practice. The exhibition is elaborated into four sections, namely "Searching Souls", "Farewell", "Experiment" and "To be Continued", showing the development of Lu's art, research, practice and thinkings.
Created to match the exhibition theme, the oil painting A Big Rooster (2015) and the installation A Full House (2015) are presented in the main hall, building up the section of "To be Continued".
The oil painting A Big Rooster (2015) is a re-creation of a new year painting by an artist named Yang Furu whose name can hardly be remembered by people today. It was during the Chinese new year of 1960 that Lu first saw the original piece. Since then, the rooster has always been a cultural symbol from the artist's childhood. Years passed, but he still believed that the original new year painting pictured his ideal homeland. In 2003, he finally found it on internet and bought it as his "outdated" collection. In Lu's version, the super-realistic rooster remains handsome, but the homeland in the background has gone. According to Lu, the rooster is always a shadow of his mind, which represents his melancholy for the lost rural land in face of the industrial society.
Opposite to the oil painting, we could find the other new work A Full House (2015) right in the center of the main hall. There is a white cube with a height of nine meters which allows only one person in for a time. Once inside of the room, one is surrounded by a thousand ceramic sculptures of a world-famous figure sitting in a chair. There are also three similar chairs positioned there for the viewers. The work is inspired by the relationship between position and perspective. It is an attempt to create a visual space for looking and to be looked at, in which the audience is confronted with an indispensable international symbol of last century. Lu said the following for this piece: "This historical theater of the last century has prepared more seats than ever before for its audiences, let us wait and see if we will have a full house."
"Last Century --- Lu Shengzhong's Solo Exhibition" will last until 1st January, 2016, during which a conference will be held to discuss on topics of Modernity.
About the Artist
Lu Shengzhong was born in Dayuji Village, Dongping, Shandong, China in 1952. He received his bachelor from the Department of Fine Arts, Shandong Normail University, Shandong in 1978 and MFA from Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1987 where he has taken teaching position ever since. He has held solo shows in many world renowned art museums and galleries, including University Art Museum of University of Albany in New York, Fukuoka Art Museum in Japan, Grenoble in France, National Art Gallery of China, Chambers Fine Art in New York and Eslite Gallery in Taiwan etc. His works have also been widely exhibited internationally, including Victoria & Albert Museum in Britain,Schloss Pillnitz, Dresden in Germany, Venray Asylum in Holland etc.
Last Century – Lu Shengzhong's Solo Exhibition
Host: Today Art Museum
Opening: 4pm. 8th November, 2015
Duration: 9th November 2015 – 1st January 2016
Venue: 2/F, 3/F & 4/F Exhibition Halls of Building No.1
Address: Pingod community, No.32 Baiziwan Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing
SOURCE Beijing Today Art Museum