Lu I-jung was born in Taipei in 1949 with a birth name of Lu Tien-yen. He received professional trainings in art at the National Taiwan Academy of Art and the Fine Arts Department of the Chinese Culture University. He established a private studio after graduation and made a living on teaching. He began a series of painting projects while releasing works one after another in 1982. With ideals, vision and passion, he also participated in the founding of the 101 Modern Art Group, among others. Lu has been through various creative periods, such as “cultural,” “metaphoric” and “social” ones, as well as one of dialectic multi-media installation art since the 1980s. In 2005, Lu began the self-proposed “romantic period” with heavy texture and bright colors in his paintings, which indicate “the feelings of being at the peripheral of a new time and space, intricately at ease, and chaotically at peace” 1 as the artist explained.
1 “John Lu,” Art Today, http://www.artoday.com.tw/lu/main2.htm.
Stonework and Ivorywork, created in 1987, is a representative piece of the “Stone Age” series. Prehistoric objects made of stone, bones and horns were incorporated into Lu’s works. The paintings have simple compositions, dark colors and a heavy texture. The series, exude sharp, quiet charm, making Lu a different artist in the bustling art community of Taiwan in the 1980s. In Stonework and Ivorywork, “Two stone objects stand against one another to represent fight. Below, a giant object made of horns indicates authority.2 It is evident that the artist aims to refer more than just objects as they are. What makes his works special, however, is not the implications of the painted objects, but how these supposedly heavy objects float in a place without gravity. Detached and attached, within-reach and elusive, falling and rising, and mysteriously poetic at the same time, the objects are more charming than they seem. This creates a strange time and space in his works, as if it they were detached from reality. Although the composition is rather fixed, the visual impacts make one uneasy. This painting has a strong sense of surrealism and hallucinating poeticness. It is much more complicated and charming than it seems.
2 “John Lu,” Art Today, http://www.artoday.com.tw/lu/main2.htm.
Lu advocated “Art is not reflections, but precedence” in 1985 as an artist awareness statement. He even described the dynamics between young artists and the traditional Taiwanese society as “a final battle is in place.”3 Such comments fully express Lu’s social deals and uncompromising character. At the turn of the lifting of martial laws, many artists looked into the unsettling society, critiquing the circumstances with a “new expression” style. However, Lu turned away from strong regional stories, painting a more subtle “Stone Age” series. Perhaps in a time when people contradicted one another, Lu was particularly baffled by inner conflicts resulting from external social uproar. “I think I want to create an obscure space…with a sense of loss and insecurity. I think the feeling of being insecure is shared by the general public in Taiwan, rather than just second-generation nationalist immigrants like me.” 4
3 Lu I-jung, “This is Not Reflections, but Precedence: on the 1985 New Painting Exhibition at Taipei Fine Arts Museum,” Artist, Vol. 123, August 1985: 69-71.
4 Huang Pa-ping, “Strategic Artist: Lu Tien-yen,” Artist, Vol. 230, July 1994: 385.
|English title：||Stonework and Ivorywork|
|Medium / Classification：||Oil paints and Acrylic colors|