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Painting passion of youth and music
By Wang Jie

PAINTER Luo Dan's name is the Chinese transliteration of Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), the French sculptor famous for works such as "The Age of Bronze," "The Thinker" and "The Kiss."

His painter father, Luo Zhongli, an accomplished artist and president of the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts, had high hopes for his son in the art world.

"Frankly, my life has been quite smooth but that doesn't mean my path in art has been easy," says 32-year-old Luo, whose paintings are on exhibit at Sinan Mansions.

With his father also a famous artist, comparisons are inevitable, but Luo says they are unfair.

"I always face the same question, whether or not I feel the shadow of my father," he says. "No, I don't. We have different backgrounds. It would be meaningless to put us together."

Luo Dan also plays the piano, violin and likes to sing.

Music is a regular theme in his work, especially the rebelliousness of rock 'n' roll. His subjects sing and revel in music. From their facial expressions, viewers can almost feel their passion and hear the music that they hear.

Luo is quick to say that his paintings do not have a social message.

"I am not reflecting on history and society," he says. "I only care about the existing world, the lifestyles of my peers."

His works have evolved toward themes of tradition colliding with modernity, wildness clashing with stillness.

Born in Chongqing, Luo graduated from the Middle School attached to the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in 2000. He studied at Kunsthochschule Kassel in Germany. In 2004, he graduated from the Oil Painting Department of the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute and studied at the University of Wales Institute in Cardiff, the UK.

Asked whether his father gave him artistic advice over the years, Luo says, "I tried to hide my paintings from him since I felt a bit awkward. I want to retain the purity and distinctiveness of my own art."

Date: Through June 30, 10am-6:30pmAddress: 2/F, 23 Sinan Mansions, 515 Fuxing Rd M.

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