HILLS BEYOND THE BACKDROP
18 January - 8 March 2014
Opening: Friday, 17 January 2014, 7 pm - 9pm
Lu Song, Insomnia, 2013| oil on canvas |160 x 180 cm
photo credit: ALEXANDER OCHS GALLERIES BERLIN I BEIJING
The title Hills beyond the Backdrop refers to the Lu Song’s approach of image conception, ‘Backdrop’ in the sense of a coulisse whose beginning and boundaries appear to be indistinct. Metropolitan dreams of nature and compressed urban spaces serve as motifs for the artist. Sketching his exhibition Lu references “Place”, a text by Tacita Dean and co-author Jeremy Millar.
Peking-based Lu finds the citizens of metropolises to be chased by their wishes and fears, yet remaining in a situation of rising anonymity and strangeness. Anonym strangers struggle through increasingly equal looking cities, fighting for their survival.
Hills beyond… For Lu Song Hills are supposed to be a place beyond the cities, where the pressure loosens for the metropolises’ inhabitants, we can forget things and get lost. Places from where gates of new, individual possibilities open.
In fact a lot of his often surreal motifs picture urban housing complexes in the middle of faraway landscapes or even people whose actions appear to be strange or at least curious. The landscapes are fanciful and his scenery’s narrative often indefinite. They could be images from a dream world or a fleeting moment in the artist’s mind.
Lu Song’s artistic development can be observed in his remarkable use of color, which enables him to create unique effects and atmospheres. The paint proves to be a crucial element in his compositions. While some parts of his paintings are precisely carried out with clear outlines, other allegedly important areas, possibly determining for the plot, are only dimly suggested. He lets the heavily diluted paint run across the canvas in a way that figurative structures are not formed by a clear brush strokes, but by the rills of the mixing paints. Despite all unpredictability of the material Lu achieves to control the process of image development by leaving certain parts of the canvas unpainted and like that skillfully carves out his subject.
Lu Song and his paintings deliberately turn away from those real or apparent realities that are an omnipresent theme for many other Chinese painters. The European influence of the artist, who returned to Peking after finishing his Fine Art studies in London, is still noticeable. Yet, his relation with Asian art is just as obvious as his need to experiment with painting techniques and image content.
ALEXANDER OCHS GALLERIES BERLIN | BEIJING
T: +49 (0) 30 24 00 866 80