Solo Retrospective- Lu Chunsheng at The Red Mansion Foundation
Featured Artist: LU CHUNSHENG
An Exhibition curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist
6 February- 31 March 2008
The Red Mansion Foundation is pleased to present its third exhibition at 46 Portland Place. The Foundation invited Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects at the Serpentine Gallery, to curate the first solo retrospective exhibition of the work of the artist Lu Chunsheng. Lu Chunsheng graduated from the Department of Sculpture at the China National Academy of Fine Arts, and now focuses mostly on photography and video art. Since the late 1990's his photographs, video and multimedia art works have been recognized on an international level, though he has been well respected and renowned for many years in China, where he is regarded as extremely influential within the new generation of Chinese artists. The Red Mansion Foundation is honoured to host his first solo retrospective exhibition, which will allow the viewer a more in-depth and profound understanding of his work than earlier group shows have warranted.
Lu Chunsheng's work consists of brooding films and photographs which appear preoccupied with the Industrial Era and Communist History. However, the stories told via his films are more mystic than nostalgic. There is a surrealist attitude to his videos; using fixed camera positions, endless drawn-out shots and seemingly amateurish shooting techniques, he documents human behavior in inexplicable and often bizarre situations. Unlike most of his fellow artists emerging from the same generation, he does not focus on the estrangement following an accelerated urbanization (including its stream of rapidly moving images and perplexed inhabitants). Instead, he has developed an oeuvre where the characters depicted (either photographically or on video) find themselves in undoubtedly weird situations. The absurdity takes its form in a series of photos entitled 'Water' (2000), where we witness a man standing motionless in a female nightgown while increasingly a sea of water accumulates at his feet. This occurrence is documented in progressive stages without any recognizable plot and without further explanation. A correspondingly fantastic situation is articulated in the large-scale photo 'I Want to Be a Gentleman' (2000), which depicts nine men standing on tall plinths in front of a dilapidated building as if they were statues atop a pedestal in a museum.
Lu Chunsheng has exhibited widely in China and abroad. Today he lives and works in Shanghai.