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Sun Ji, LU Jun
M97 Gallery
363 Changping Road, 2nd Floor, 200060 Shanghai, China
August 1, 2009 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Review of Lu Jun & Sun Ji -- Two Solo Exhibitions

Lu Jun’s large-scale photography works use the three fundamental elements of Chinese landscape painting - water, ink, and paper - combined with techniques of modern photography to create poetic landscapes that flow in both form and color.

Lu Jun’s motivation as an artist is to create rather than to imitate, using the tools available to him as a contemporary photography artist.

Water and ink captured in photographs, and under the artist’s control, blend together in dreamy clouds of color reinterpreting and advancing one of the most iconic forms of traditional Chinese painting.


His subject matter departs from tradition as well in his earlier series “Chinese Real Estate Dream” (2006). In these works - inspired by the real estate boom in Zhuhai (Guangdong Province) of the early 1990s - lyrical, loose brush strokes lead the viewer’s eye downward through what appears to be an idyllic landscape.

Yet upon closer examination we see that perched atop the splotches of ink resembling mountaintops sit photographs of suburban villas and modern office high-rises, a depiction of an ever rapidly urbanizing countryside.

The exhibition also features works from his most recent series: "How Far From Us" (2007) and "The Scenery That I’ve Seen" (2008), which lead the viewer into a realm of more abstract landscapes of ink, water, paper and photography.

Lu Jun lives and works in Zhuhai (Guangdong) and Beijing.




The works in Sun Ji’s "Memory City" are architectural constructions that speak of urban transformation as destruction and displacement of the old must make way for the new; memories recreated that are both meant to be forgotten and recalled.

In his first body of work "Memory City I", Sun Ji uses his camera to create what appear to be something part cubist collage and part hyperreal landscape composed of industrial factory facades, water towers, smoke stacks and abandoned buildings resulting in works of striking scale and formality.

Recreating impressions and memories from his childhood, the young Shanghainese artist began in 2005 by carefully assembling single portraits of buildings to create massive black and white compositions that surpass the physical limits of possibility but in the viewer’s imagination renders an almost plausible behemoth construction, alive yet forever a part of Shanghai’s history.

In "Memory City II", the smoke stacks and metal pipes are replaced by low-rise facades and elements of Shanghai’s lane life as the young artist’s focus shifts to the ubiquitous Shanghai urban landscape phenomenon of partially torn down residential buildings. The resulting compositions become dense, layered mountains of neighborhoods stacked one atop the other as if waiting to be leveled.

Sun Ji lives and works in Shanghai.

Posted by Lu Jun on 8/29/11 | tags: traditional mixed-media realism photography landscape digital modern

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