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First Encounter

Works by Lu Shengzhong Inaugural Contemporary Exhibition


November 11, 2000 – January 12, 2001

First Encounter , Installation view

First Encounter 

Installation view

Chambers Fine Art is pleased to announce the first exhibition in America of Lu ShengZhong. Born in 1952 in Shandong, Lu ShengZhong grew up during the turbulent years of the Cultural Revolution. He joined the army and held various jobs before deciding to devote himself full- time to art, studying at Shandong Normal University and Central Academy of Fine Arts. For his first major exhibition held at China's National Art Gallery in Beijing, Lu ShengZhong transformed the galleries into a temple filled with a brilliant panoply of cut-out paper forms, henceforth to be his major means of expression.

The ending of the Cultural Revolution led to a tremendous upheaval in the stratified world of Chinese art. As new ideas poured in from the west, young artists who previously had to choose between traditional means of expression and the art for the masses promoted by Mao ZeDong were suddenly exposed to a broad spectrum of modern and contemporary modes of expression. A profusion of short-lived movements and groupings, many with a political edge, soon attracted international attention but to Lu ShengZhong it seemed that much of the work produced was superficial. Thus, he has written in the introduction to the catalogue, "in the mid-1980s I walked away from the cultural confusion of the time, and turned back to the villages, to traditional folk art."

The traditional technique of paper cutting, used extensively in the folk art of China, opened the way for Lu ShengZhong to give striking formal expression to ideas of a philosophical and religious nature. "As I cut paper with my scissors and separate the shapes that result from my activity, I am making a statement against the separation of bodyand soul in contemporary thought. Summoning the detached forms of the souls so that they can be reunited with their bodies, can be compared to the juxtaposition of positive and negative forms or the perfect coexistence of the curves of ying and yang."

Wu Hung, Harrie A. Vanderstappen Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, has stated, "among a small group of contemporary Chinese artists who have obtained world-wide renown, Lu ShengZhong is unique in his quest to express individuality and contemporaneity through a Chinese vernacular art form - the art of paper cutting."

In choosing the works for this exhibition, Lu ShengZhong has recreated one of his older projects first conceptualized in the late 1980s. This work - Calling Soul - constitute the foundation for all his later artistic experiments. Works created specially for this exhibition include Great Peace and Tranquillity and Poetry of Harmony.

From the Cubist collages of Picasso and Braque to the final works of Matisse, artists in the West have used cut paper forms for a wide variety of formal and expressive purposes. In the hands of Lu ShengZhong, the amazingly intricate cut paper shapes are assembled to establish elaborate installations as well as a series of wall-hangings that utilize positive and negative forms in a lively dialogue.

*Catalogue Available




芝加哥大学 Harrie A.Vanderstappen 杰出服务教授巫鸿先生评价道:“在已经获得世界声誉的一小部分当代中国艺术家中,吕胜中是非常独特的,他是通过中国本土的艺术形式剪纸艺术来表达其个性和当代性。”




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