Welcome to the exhibition of aiik photographer, Fang Lu.
Fang Lu’s first exhibition
49 Albemarle Street
London W1S 4JR
Fang Lu was born in 1977 in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. He moved to the USA when he was four and lived there until the age of ten, at which time he and his family returned to Taiwan. Lu has lived and worked in Spain for the past five years.
Lu’s paintings are visually stunning and consistently engaging. His works combine areas of the utmost precision and realism with others which have been blurred to the extent that the bodies depicted are barely decipherable; faces and forms are distorted and warped in a manner reminiscent of the work of Francis Bacon.
Set against blankets of monochrome black, Lu’s figures appear apparitional. Like fragmented memories, we see hazy outlines and suggestions of form; parts are clear whilst others remain elusive. Lu became fascinated by the blurred effect in the paintings of Gerhard Richter when visiting Germany in 2006 and Richter’s influence is clearly manifest in these works; in blurring some areas rather than others, Lu encourages us to scour the whole canvas in order to notice the details he chooses to include.
The significance of the use of purple in the paintings relates to Lu’s own personality. Specifically, the purple tone of the paintings serves to demonstrate the tension Lu feels between his outward behaviour and his inner self. His principally Asian upbringing instilled within him a reserved manner and Lu believes that this cultural system suppressed his true feelings and distorted his temperament. However, despite this reserved upbringing, Lu still feels a wild fire of imagination continually burn within him. Thus, the Purple Series is a direct result of this conflict Lu experiences between his outer blue of conformity and his inner red of freedom and creativity; it is a mixture and fusion of these binary traits in his personality.
The vast eyes that Lu paints reinforce this notion of hidden feelings beneath outer appearances. Traditionally, eyes represent gateways to an honest and true portrayal of a person’s character. However, it remains unclear whether the eyes Lu paints are meant to act as windows into the souls of his subjects or mirrors for our own. The retinas which stare out from Lu’s huge canvases compel us to return their gaze, to lose ourselves in the depths of the painted canvas. Thus, just as the hands that grasp each other in Need suggest the significance of proximity and tactile contact between bodies, Lu’s eyes encourage us to feel a visual bond and intimacy to the faces we see before us.