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In Contemporary China, the view towards painting has reached to the extent as complicated and contradictory as never before, and the tradition of Chinese calligraphy and painting has been isolated from the present days for long. While being continuously bombarded by overseas paintings and art trends, the popularization and the introduction of which is obviously deficient, and the misreadings from now and then multiply and become inextricable. After 2005, new topics have been constantly raised by the market-oriented field of contemporary art, and yet, because of the absence of art critique, what is left after each boom of the market is nothing but a new ruin of paintings. Ancient as the art form of painting is, the reading of it could be so easy and so difficult at the same time. The criteria of paintings differs radically among different regions, races, eras and cultural backgrounds, and even the same painter would hold contradictory ideas in the works of different time periods and types; the hybrid genealogy of paintings is thus generated through the different criteria and the realizations of various pursuits. The ways of seeing would no doubt be affected by the preconceptions. While facing a work of painting, one should not rely too much on the reaction of his/her own retina; but to explore deeply in the genealogy of paintings, which is the premise of such appreciation. “Genealogy Study of Paintings” is a preliminary attempt based on the reasons above, which intends to make a selective group of artists who insist on the art form of painting as the objects of study, and start to investigate, by the means of solo exhibitions and seminars, into the factors which generate his/her artistic creations. The objective of the study does not rest with the conclusion on some value judgement, nor does it undertake the mission of some abstruse theoretical research; it will somehow focus on obtaining the most fundamental facts. By taking “genealogy study” as a starting point, we invite artists, curators and collectors, and integrating with the basic elements of a painter such as his/her teachers, friends, exhibitions and markets, in order to review the evolution process of his/her practices in retrospect, to analyze the constitution of its genealogy, and to discuss “where does your painting come from?” By extracting the essential points, we try to explain “what are we talking about when it comes to paintings” in a simple way. SSSSTART continuously focuses on the artistic “production” and the influence under such “production” during the process of the artistic creation, hoping to record and read deeply into the thoughts and observations towards artistic creations of various painters and researchers along the project.
Born in 1973 and grew up in an intellectual family in Shangyu, Zhejiang Province, Lou Shengyi finished his boyhood training of painting in the High School Affiliated to China Academy of Art, and gradually pursued his artistic path of painting while majoring in mural painting in Central Academy of Fine Arts in eaely 1990s. After his graduation in 1997, he settled down in Hangzhou and teached in China Academy of Art, and continues his practices in painting. Since 2005 he frequently participated in exhibitions concentrated on the generation born in the 1970s. In 2010, after finishing his solo exhibition “Neverland”, he deliberately withdrew himself from the hit contemporary art exhibition scene and started a series of bold experiment in painting, exploring the diversities in different media and painting languages. Indulging in his exploration for 5 years, Lou Shenyi conducted his solo exhibitions “Fashion” and “Xiang De Mei” in secession, whose themes are both parodic and aesthetic, and returned to the stage of Chinese contemporary painting with his characteristic and intuitive painting style. As the premier exhibition of “Genealogy Study of Paintings”, Lou Shenyi’s latest artworks finished between 2017 and 2018 will be exhibited in “Pleasure”, including Thinker, Lust, Spoony, Feast, Bamboo Grove, No Flowers, Shift Snow Beneath the Gorgeous Sun, Color Segments, Golden Saiyan Bamboo, and Gone With the Wind. Based on the seminars during the exhibition, a “Report on Genealogy Study of Paintings” of him will be published after the exhibition.
Born in Zhejiang Province in 1973, Lou Shanyi is a contemporary artist in China. He graduated from the Affiliated High School of China Academy of Fine Arts in 1993 and entered the Mural Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in the same year. He now works and lives in Beijing and Hangzhou. He is currently teaching at China Academy of Art. For more than three decades he has been researching and exploring the universal symbols that can express his own heritage through Eastern and Western philosophy. Lou Shenyi’s artworks are his exploration of the authenticity of his own archetype and existence.