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Jiangnan 2016.07.09 - 09.04
Matthew Liu Fine Arts is pleased to present Jiangnan, the renowned contemporary Chinese artist Lu Xinjian’s first solo presentation at the gallery. For over a decade, in vibrant palette Lu Xinjian has been depicting the bird’s eye views of boisterous modern metropolises in his stylish and conceptual abstract representations, inviting the viewers to envision these locales as he experiences them. The exhibition will be on view from July 9th through September 3rd, 2016, with an opening reception on Saturday, July 9th from 4-7 pm.
Sharing conventions, styles and techniques of abstract expressionism, Lu Xinjian’s works often depicts the bird’s eye view of modern cities in bright and contrasting colors. Lines, waves, curves and circles ripple and dance across flat surfaces, representing streets, blocks and other urban structures that denote the essence of cities. While retaining the signature architectures and city designs that allow their inhabitants to recognize the places they reside in, Lu’s treatment of these plans reveals the striking similarity among modern urban spaces. In his works, the cityscape has become de-centralized and flattened. Skyscrapers and low rises are rendered in equally simplified lines and structures, demonstrating a bustling urban density that could be applied to any modern city. Manifesting a cosmopolitan mindset, these works embrace and synthesize differences across various cultures and nations, while calling the viewers’ attention towards the increasingly standardizing urban spaces around the globe.
For his first solo exhibition at Matthew Liu Fine Arts, Lu Xinjian selected thirteen works from his City DNA: Jiangnan series from 2012, seven of which are inspired by the scholar’s gardens in premodern China and the other six works are city plans of small towns and villages in the region known as Jiangnan (江南). Referring to lands immediately to the south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, Jiangnan is not only a geographic area but also a highly prosperous and cultured region that has been considered to be the home for the most refined and lofty literati since Southern Song dynasty, and thus signifies the essence of traditional Chinese culture and social ideal. While originally meant for the inhabitants and visitors to experience the aesthetics and social values embedded in the designs, decorations and selection of materials as they navigate through them, these classical gardens become transparent in Lu Xinjian’s simple and deconstructionist aerial representations, and the hidden relations, orders and rules are revealed. Only employed two distinct colors against each other to elaborate his own impression and thoughts on these closed private spaces, Lu Xinjian masterfully renders the famous retreats such as The Humble Administrator's Garden, Great Wave Pavilion, and Lingering Garden in a lucid visual language that is accessible and engaging to contemporary viewers.
Born in Jiangsu province in 1977, Lu Xinjian completed his MFA at the Interactive Media and Environments at the Frank Mohr Institute at Hanze University, Netherlands in 2006. Upon returning to Shanghai in 2010, Lu set off as an artist and soon exhibited his works in notable venues in China, England and the United States, including Matthew Liu Fine Arts, Shanghai, China, 2016; ART LABOR Gallery, Shanghai, China, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015; Hua Gallery, London, UK, 2014; Fabien Fryns Fine Art, Los Angeles, USA, 2011. Lu Xinjian’s work can be found in the public collections of institutions such as the White Rabbit Gallery, Sydney, Australia; DSL Collection, Paris, France; Anxin Trust collection, Shanghai, China. The artist currently lives and works in Shanghai.
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Lu Xinjian: Jiangnan
Dimensions: 21 x 27 cm
Edition of 300