CITY DNA Athens
Acrylic on canvas, 145 x 185 cm (57 x 73 in)
F2 Gallery presents the first solo exhibition in Beijing by emerging young Chinese artist Lu Xinjian from February 26th to April 18h, 2011. Entitled "City DNA II", the exhibition will feature a dozen of new paintings from the artist's signature city map series.
Coming from a design background and influenced by his own design practice, artist Lu Xinjian brings his particular understanding of the relationships among lines, shapes and colors into his artistic practice. It's only natural when he shifted his practice into the artistic realm, that these elements remain the most prominent in his artistic works.
Almost by accident, Google Earth became Lu's source of inspiration, as well as his crucial artistic instrument in the "City DNA" series; in this series of works, he traces the bird's eye view landscapes of parts of different cities from around the world and abstracts them into simple patterns and lines. He also chooses color patterns that fits each city, representing its culture, spirit or his personal impression of the cities he has visited. Lu started the series when he was living abroad; the very first piece of the "City DNA" series is "Groningen" (2009), where Lu lived during his graduate school years in The Netherlands. In this particular work, Lu traced a bird's eye view photo he took of Groningen and transformed it into a painting, where the lines and shapes are much more simple and loosely arranged than the works he has since developed using Google Earth. After the first experiment, under the encouragement of his then professor, Lu gradually took on more challenging cities like Beijing, Pairs, New York, and London with more complexity in their cityscapes.
Lu's works seaminglessly combine simplicity and complexity, abstraction and concept. From each painting, the viewers can grasp the visual characteristics of a certain city at a glance, yet the content itself is so complex since the cityscape embodies the historical, economic and political history of that particular city to this day. Visually, the abstract presentation may seem randomly composed by lines, shapes and colors, yet the concept behind the works is rich and concrete.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Lu Xinjian was born in Jiangsu Province in 1977. In 2000, he graduated from Graphic Design department of Nanjing Arts Institute. From year 2004 to 2005, he studied at IM Postgraduate Department of Design Academy Eihndhoven. Later, he earned his MFA in Interactive Media and Environment Department of Frank Mohr Institute in Netherlands in 2006. Lu now lives and works in Shanghai.