Ink Painters · Crane Dance Nancun – Exhibition of Lu Xiaobo's Chinese Painting Works

enad.tsinghua.edu.cn , February 7, 2021

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Cats, ink on paper, 69 x 69cm, 2020

This rare exhibition not only manifested Mr. Lu's love for the red-crowned crane over the past 20 years through his artworks but also demonstrated the most passionate and lively side of him as an artist. What made this exhibition valuable was the devotion to and power in his art. From this exhibition, more artists were inspired to improve themselves, pay greater attention to nature and culture, and thereby have a more profound understanding of harmony between nature and mankind through the art of Chinese painting. 

Preface to the Art Exhibition 

A quote from the notable monk artist Shi Tao in the early Qing Dynasty says, "Art should keep up with the time". This refers to the principle that art should be the pulse of a certain era to reflect and portray that specific period of time. In a globalized society nowadays, integration, development and innovation have, inevitably, become the main themes for contemporary arts. In a modern age where arts increasingly diversify, how to rejuvenate traditional arts and make them valuable in a contemporary setting has become an important mission and subject of study for modern artists.  

Cats, ink on paper, 69 x 69cm, 2020

Mr. Lu Xiaobo, without doubt, masters this research subject. He not only has an open mind but also has proficient skills. Instead of confining his works to the field of artistic design, Mr. Lu aims to incorporate both arts and scientific technologies into his paintings as a way of making new interpretations of traditional Chinese paintings in a modern context. He thus makes a great contribution to the innovation and development of contemporary Chinese paintings. 

Mr. Lu Xiaobo chooses to portray cranes in traditional Chinese paintings out of his ardent love for traditional Chinese culture. As he was born in Hunan, a pretty and charming province, he tends to "learn from nature". The culturally refined Hunan region, which has produced a large number of eminent scholars and poets, is the place of origin for the Southern school landscape painting founded by Dong Qichang. The bank along the Xiang River, covered with flowers and aquatic plants, interspersed with soaring birds, became the main subject of paintings among these Southern artists. 

Eagle Swift as Wind, ink on paper, 69 x 138cm, 2020

Mr. Lu Xiaobo favors cranes in particular because of its elegant profile, graceful moves and noble characters. The red-crowned cranes painted by him, in various postures, are all so poised, beautiful and proud. They are a vivid reflection of a free, animated living being. Mr. Lu's works, a physical embodiment of Chinese culture, observe the traditions of Chinese freehand brush works, adopt the artistic design typically represented by artists from Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University, and integrate humans, arts and nature seamlessly in one single frame, creating an ideal image of life.  

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