Water Color on Silk, H:50cm, L:300cm/450cm, 6 scrolls (detail)
In the 1950s and 60s Communist Parties developed the idea of a 'socialist boulevard' within their urban planning program as an alternative to the western avenues like Champs Elysées in Paris. Following this idea Chang'an Street was transformed into a 46 km long avenue in a soviet style architecture which formed the new city center from 1949 together with Tian'anmen and the Forbidden City. Nowadays Karl Marx-Allee in Berlin (formerly known as Stalin Boulevard) was built between 1952-1960, one leading architect was Richard Paulick (1903-1979), former assistant to Martin Gropius at the Bauhaus in Dessau. As son of a political prosecuted socialist politician who was sent to concentration camp Paulick emigrated to Shanghai in 1933 where he lived for 15 years.
Due to a rise of economical standards during the construction of the Stalin Boulevard the German workers went on strike followed by the entire working class of German Democratic Republic.
Between 2005-2006 Beijing based artist Lu Hao born in 1969 created the hand scrolls Chang' An Street and Recordings which have been presented at documenta 12. With the exhibition THE BERLIN SCROLLS he is showing the German equivalent, consisting of 8 scrolls documenting Karl Marx-Allee in Berlin within a total length of 21 meters. Referring to traditional Chinese architecture painting (jiehua/gongbihua) Lu Hao was painting on precious silk fabric - specially produced in the former imperial city of Hangzhou following an old tradition.
In preparation of THE BERLIN SCROLLS the artist was travelling to Berlin taking pictures of the entire boulevard which served him as master illustration for his work. Hence, THE BERLIN SCROLLS also serve as a snapshot of the current stage of Karl Marx-Allee in 2010.
Opening April 2nd 3-6pm, the artist will be present.