F2 Gallery presents a solo exhibition “Object Distance” by emerging young Chinese artist Zheng Lu from April 17th to June 21st 2010. The exhibition is a site-specific installation containing several new sculptural works. Opening reception on April 17, from 3 to 6 pm.
Zheng comes from a family with a strong and deep traditional Chinese intellectual background. From childhood, he is greatly influenced by Chinese literature and calligraphy. Later, his formal Chinese and foreign art education opened up his way of looking at and understanding of contemporary art; the mixed and almost contradictory experiences in his life have helped him to re-examine both Chinese and Western artistic theories.
The works in this exhibition take a different direction from his previous hollowed-out stainless steel series that was shown last year in the exhibition “Interpreting Nonexistence,” which are largely inspired by traditional Chinese literature, calligraphy and Taoist beliefs. This new series shows a side of Zheng that is more in touch with Western and Chinese contemporary aesthetics. The four large-scale works — a Map of China titled “Object Distance,” a Beijing Opera Phoenix Cornet titled “Putting on Airs,” a car titled “Crash No.1” and an airplane “Crash No.2” are seemingly a random choice of subjects. Actually they share a common conceptual thread: a reflection of the artist’s recent contemplations on social reality and change, embodying metaphors worthy of close observation and consideration.
The car and airplane “Crash” pieces are a continuation of his “Double Happiness” series from 2008, where both the car and the airplane are in a slow motion crashing action, which forms a contrast and an irony of the symbols of “double happiness” that are embedded in the sculptures. The Beijing Opera Phoenix Cornet is partly made from scraps of Zheng’s former studio he had lived and worked in for five years, and which was torn down a few months before the exhibition. The gigantic stainless steel Map of China curls to the same degree as the surface of the earth. It’s highly polished and is as reflective as a mirror on both sides, forming an interesting optical phenomenon, with one side functioning as a concave mirror and the other side as a convex mirror. As audiences move around the work, their own reflections together with the reflections of surrounding objects within “China” changes continuously responding to their movements. The artist borrows the “object distance”, a basic physics concept, into this work. Once the curvation of a paraboloid is set, then focal point and focal distance are fixed, only the object distance is changeable. In the exhibition, the concept of object distance only becomes valid when an audience is standing in front of the work, thereby completes the work. The artist also integrates the wall space as part of the exhibition. The whole installation creates a stunningly strong visual impact as it draws the audience into a different artificial environment of Zheng’s creation, and the visitors themselves become a part of the small world of Zheng’s reality.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Zheng Lu was born in Inner Mongolia in1978. He graduated from Lu Xun Fine Art Academy with a BFA in sculpture in 2003. In 2007, he received his MAF in sculpture from Central Academy of Fine Art. In the mid of his graduate study at CAFA, he also went on an advance study program at École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts in Paris in 2006. Since 2001, Zheng has been participating in numerous exhibitions in China and abroad. His selected recent exhibitions include Object Distance: Zheng Lu Solo Exhibition, F2 Gallery, Beijing (2010); Asian Landmark-Toyota Art Project, Iberia Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2010); Interpreting Nonexistence – Zheng Lu Solo Exhibition, New Age Gallery, Beijing (2009); Fresh Vision – The Contemporary Young Artists Invites the Exhibition, Su Zhou Art Museum (2009); Multiple Realities, F2 Gallery (2008); CHINA GOLD, Musée Maillol, Paris (2008); Out of Order, F2 Gallery (2006). Zheng now lives and works in Beijing.