Today Art Museum embraces humanistic care at the end of year - “Last Century-Lu Shenzhong’s Solo Exhibition”


Beijing Today Art Museum is going to present “Last Century-Lu Shenzhong’s Solo Exhibition”  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 is through “Lu Shengzhong: Paper-cut Art Show”(1988) and “China Avant-Garde” (1989), Lu Shengzhong’s artistic practice first drew public attention. However, in contrast to Avant-Garde narrative of the so called “85” artistic New-Wave, Lu’s artistic practice and thinking, since its very beginning as is marked by “Searching Souls” in the Chinese rural tradition and folk art, until the later “Farewell Tradition” which he repeatedly spoke of as a discoursive corner stone, 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. 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 boarder of art. 
"Last Century" marks a new start point of Lu’s art and thinking, according to which he would reinterpret all the exhibiting works, including his previous signature pieces and new pieces. Thus, it’s 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 was 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, were issues of last century. Great hardships have been endured and great sacrifices made during this period and the results today are not what we 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 would be 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 would be 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 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 artist named Yang Furu whose name could hardly be remembered by people today. It was 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 have passed, 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 would be surrounded by a thousand ceramic sculptures of a world-famous figure sitting in a chair. While three similar chairs positioned there for the viewers. The works 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”would last until 1st January, 2016, during which a conferenct would be held to discuss on topics of Modenity.