LU Chuntao has switched from traditional ink-wash painting and bird-and-flower themes to unconventional and startling ink-wash about a rougher, more powerful nature.
Switching, while retaining the ink-wash spirit, can be difficult because of the absence of vivid colors, layers and textures in the ancient genre.Lu, a traditional artist for nearly two decades, says he "found himself" a few years ago and now produces works with a wilder, explosive power. He commonly introduces a single color in a work, or big blocks of color across rice paper.
An exhibition of his latest works, including the series "Lotus Pond," is underway at Huafu Art Center through November 26.
"What I paint is not that important. The key is to infuse the flowers and birds with verve and spirit as well as form, sentiment and taste all at the same time," says the Shanghai native from Chongming Island (County).His paintings today reflect a sensibility that has opened to a wider natural world, an environment far broader than a limited private space.
"I want to pursue striking visual effects," he says. "It's easier said than done in regard to the revolution on rice paper. But it's inevitable if we really want to be different from our predecessors."He uses "a different eye" to see natural surroundings and uses his years of experience in design. He uses abrupt geometric shapes and big blocks of color to separate a subject from its surroundings - a challenge to the traditional aesthetic taste of Chinese landscape paintings."My work is more like a short poem narrating a soliloquy from my heart, as if it has discovered a musical rhythm that beats among these still points, lines and planes," he says.