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The art print titled 'Summer' by Zhou Lu is one of One Hundred Chinese Master Prints selected by artelino
Coca Cola is a symbol of American culture worldwide. It is now summer time and the best season to drink a Coke. On the highway are colorful balloons in the bright sky. One can feel the thirst of this character bending down for a refreshing Coke. The bald-headed boy is literally on the fast lane towards Western culture.
Zhou Lu has created a large series showing one or more bald-headed boys in a scene that is typical for today's China. Zhou Lu, born 1973, experienced as a small boy the era of the Cultural Revolution. He remembers the daily military-type physical exercises at nursery school and school, the omnipresent Mao propaganda. Zhou Lu belongs to a generation that struggles to cope with and reconcile the experiences of two societies that could hardly be more different.
In one of his statements Zhou Lu writes:
"Those who were born in the 1970s passed through the period of revolutionary idealism, then through the realism period when we strived for money and for enjoyment, and now we are amidst the personality period and its fictitious network."
The style of Mr. Zhou Lu reflects a current art movement in China that is described as 'cynical realism'. Cynical realism is a reaction to the political and economic development of China after circa 1990. Artists use the methods of irony and satire.
Mr. Zhou Lu uses bald-headed characters that look like grown-up boys. He shows them in all kinds of outfits, roles and situations that deal with today's Chinese society. Western attributes like "7Up" bottles are omnipresent and are mixed with symbols of the "old" People's Republic of China like statues of chairman Mao Zedong or red flags.
The compositions that we see on Mr. Zhou Lu's prints show a permanent conflict of collectivism and individualism. The values of the old communist society versus the ideal of Western society. This conflict dominates the images. The conflict is not resolved. The images are full of inner tensions. The faces are shown in a wide spectrum - from grimaces to vicious-looks that makes the viewer feel at unease.
Technique: Mixed Media
Published: January 2007
Width print: 22.4 inches = 57.0 cm
Height print: 27.6 inches = 70.0 cm
Width Image: 11.0 inches = 28.0 cm
Height Image: 15.6 inches = 39.5 cm
2005 - The print "Summer" was shown at the 17th National Print Exhibition in Guizhou in China and was published in the official catalog on page 19.
Zhou Lu was born in 1973 in Guiyang city, Guizhou province in the south of China. He graduated in 1997 from Tianjin Art College, Printmaking Department. From 2001 until 2002 he studied in Germany. He is currently vice professor at Guizhou Art College and vice secretary of Guizhou Printmaking Art Association.
The series comprehends by now an estimated number of circa 80 designs and we assume it will grow further in the future. Here a few more examples.
In artelino' s EDUTAINMNET section you find a number of articles about Zhou Lu.
Author: Dieter Wanczura
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Works by emerging Chinese artists in BUYDIRECT.