january, 2021

14janAll Day06marLU CHAO | BLACK FRUIT

Event Details

Galerie Nathalie Obadia in Brussels is honoured to present the new solo exhibition Black Fruit by Lu Chao after Black Light, in 2016, which took place at the Parisian gallery.

London-based Chinese artist Lu Chao (b. 1988) studied oil painting at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing (China) until 2012. Under the tutorship of the internationally renowned realist painter Liu Xiaodong, the artist learned to connect one’s art practice to real life. Lu Chao continued his studies at the Painting Department at the Royal College of Art in London (UK), where he graduated in 2014 and received the Painter-Stainers Goron Luton Award. Being a London-resident for seven years now, the artist divides his time between London and Beijing.

Lu Chao’s work is best known for his large-scale black oil paintings depicting miniature crowds of people in surreal settings. The artist consistently portrays a crowd to question the relationship between the individual and his environment that underlies man’s insignificance in relation to the vastness of our universe, the great unknown. Through poetic renders, Lu Chao evokes a void to interrogate these existential philosophical topics, embedded in the Chinese Zen Buddhism where emptiness does not stand for ‘nothingness’, but on the contrary means ‘everything that we cannot see’.

In the new body of work Black Fruit the mysterious is ever present. In sixteen compositions crowds are represented in the form of fruits, cakes, chemical particles or as funambulists creating a fantastical imagery. When viewed up close, the facial expressions of the many small-sized figures reveal both the resilience and the many upheavals experienced by humanity.

The solemn use of ‘ivory black’ paint in his artistic practice is inspired by the historical Chinese landscape paintings of the Song and Yuan Dynasties, where the artists used only black ink to create an alternating play of light and hues that was considered as ‘colours’. This tonality in black gives structure to the image. In it, Lu Chao is constantly exploring new ways to expand his graphic and technical possibilities in his chosen visual language.

The largest painting in the show Dark Energy No.4 (2020) bears witness to the influence of traditional Chinese ink painting and the artist’s play with scale, in particular the dark vast landscape with what appears to be a giant ‘’Penjing” bonsai tree in the forefront completely eclipsing the ant-sized figures on the grounds. Inspired by Taoism, with its belief in the power of nature, this scene attempts to represent the dark energy that surrounds us and still eludes our comprehension, to bring to the fore the unconscious reality of humanity.

A great admirer of Chinese philosophy, Lu Chao has also immersed himself in Western ideology since moving to London in 2013, supplemented by visits to exhibitions by his favorite Western masters, notably Rembrandt, Lucian Freud, Goya and Francis Bacon.

Works such as the depicted ruin in Relic No.7 (2020) or the apocalyptic scene of Circulation No.2 (2020) are inspired by the European Romanticism, while the work Babel (2020) makes a direct allusion to the Tower of Babel by the Flemish Renaissance painter Pieter Bruegel the Elder which evokes the sin of hubris. 
Moreover, his work has affinities with modern human science, such as in the Funambulist series reminiscent of the string figures of the American theorist Donna Haraway, where the dynamics of thought are stimulated to produce new connections and alliances.

Despite the artist’s oath to solemnly use black paint in his artistic practice, Lu Chao includes in every exhibition a work of colour. In this show three works have been composed in Van Gogh’s blue. Strongly influenced by Vincent van Gogh’s painting Almond Blossoms (1890), Lu Chao used a similar light blue to convey a kind of awakening and beauty. The large work entitled Black Fruit (2020) is completely covered in shades of blue, highlighting the intriguing subject of tree branches producing bodiless heads as fruits.

Interested in the enigmatic meaning of human life, Lu Chao’s paintings are like uncanny dreams that reflect on human existence. Dominated by an increasingly daring use of black, the artist creates a body of work where content and form go hand in hand, each reinforcing. The artist’s work goes beyond a mere amalgamation of Chinese and Western codes, which are much more complex and sophisticated in their tendency to raise multiple questions, both philosophical and socio-cultural.

“The Black Fruit is the 7th solo exhibition in black series after Black Forest, 2013, Black Mirror, 2015, Black Light, 2016, Black Box, 2017, Black Silence, 2017, Black Dots, 2019. One of the clues that clearly connects all the exhibitions is “Ivory black”. The possibility of black dots is infinite. If the black dot is considered as a seed, the black fruit will breed from there. The fruit has different life cycles and different tastes, which metaphors human beings ourselves. Every moment affects our emotions, just like the taste of fruit, we can feel soft, hard, juicy, dry, sweet, sour, bitter, astringent… Above all, the fruit is not always sweet, but a complex. The fruit has a life cycle. It comes, breeds, and goes. When life comes to an end, glory disappears. “

Lu Chao, October 2020

more

Time

January 14 (Thursday) - March 6 (Saturday)

Location

Galerie Nathalie Obadia

8 rue Charles Decoster, 1050 - Ixelles-Brussels - Belgium

Organizer

Galerie Nathalie Obadia 8 rue Charles Decoster, 1050 - Ixelles-Brussels - Belgium

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

selections-arts-logo

SELECTIONS is a platform for the arts, focusing on the Arab World.

Selections editorial presents a quarterly print magazine and weekly online publication with high quality content on all subjects related to Art and Culture. Full of world-leading artworks, exquisite brand imagery, original creative illustrations and insightful written articles.
Selections Viewing Rooms presents carefully curated online art shows aiming not only to shed light on contemporary art executed by living artists, but also for viewers to buy contemporary fine art, prints & multiples, photography, street art and collectibles.
Discover the previous and current shows here.
Cultural Narratives foundation is an extensive collection that is travelling the world by leading established and emerging talents aiming to reflect the culture of the region in their works.

RANDOM READS
Laurent Pernot, Still Life - Flowers, 2017. Sculpture, Various materials, table, vase, flowers, artificial ice and snow, varnishes. Courtesy of the artist ; Copyrights © Laurent Pernot & ADAGP Paris

THE EXPERIMENTAL CATALOGUE | HALA KHAYAT

An adventure into art in a digital time going online…

Alymamah Rashed, When I Collected Your Scattered Love (Ripple in Water), 2020. Watercolour on paper, 127 x 276.9 cm

ALYMAMAH RASHED | TABARI ARTSPACE

Tabari Artspace presents Kuwaiti surrealist painter, Alymamah Rashed’s solo exhibition.…

Huda Lutfi (b. 1948), Al-Sitt and her Sunglasses. Collage and acrylic paint on paper, 2008. Funded by CaMMEA.

REFLECTIONS-CONTEMPORARY ART OF THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Venetia Porter, the British museum’s assistant keeper of the Islamic…

Public Commission At Reem Skatepark, 2019. Installation view, April 2019. Al Reem Park, Abu Dhabi. Courtesy of the artists and Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde

THE EXPERIMENTAL CATALOGUE | DYALA NUSSEIBEH

An adventure into art in a digital time going online…

Benedetta Ghione - Executive Director at Art Dubai. Courtesy of Art Dubai

BENEDETTA GHIONE ON ART DUBAI

Anastasia Nysten speaks with Benedetta Ghione, Executive Director of Art…

Collection N°5, 55.55 necklace in white gold and diamonds, featuring a 55.55-carat emerald-cut DFL Type IIa diamond. CHANEL HIGH JEWELRY

COLLECTION N°5 | A REMARKABLE ODE TO THE N°5 PERFUME, THE 55.55 NECKLACE

To celebrate the 100th year of the N°5 perfume’s fame,…

may 2021

20janAll Day20mayGROWING LIKE A TREE

17febAll Day12junABSTRACTION AND CALLIGRAPHY – TOWARDS A UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE

09marAll Day09octPLASTIC, THE LAST HERO OF THE GREAT STEPPE - THE ART OF SAULE SULEIMENOVA