01 Artist Lv Shengzhong

“He is an internationally renowned contemporary artist, coming from the ’85 new wave, finishing a luxuriant transformation in the folk art in the contemporary with a “Little Red Human”; he is a nonstop machine to “code words” and a prolific writer, he is a cultural pioneer transmitting wisdom and imparting knowledge; after ten years, the artist brings his new shocking works to the art circles, he is Lv Shengzhong, the head of the Department of Experimental Art, CAFA.”

–Comments by Hi Art magazine

The master is excellent and “non-mainstream”

Lv Shengzhong is called “The ancient man living in contemporary” by his friends.

He beat the anti-tradition trend in the 1980s, whole-heartedly immersed in the folk art.

Paper-cut, is not simple

Lv Shengzhong said that, he first cut a “Little Red Human” in 1985, when he visited the northwest of China. When he saw the old women in the village cutting the doll with twisted knots of hair on each side of the head, it was so interesting that he cut together with them. He cut little humans copying the folk shape at that time. A few years later, a German man interviewed Lv Shengzhong about the “little red human”, he answered him that, they were the souls of all the “people”.

“Each cut figure together with the hole forms a contradiction between being and not being, Yin and Yang, soul and body, positive and negative, virtual and reality, just like each integrated life.”

Paper-cut art is an art where you can’t make a mistake, if one cut is wrong, it will completely fail. The man taking scissors must concentrate his attention. In the process of cutting a little human, it subtracts the irrelevant place of the little human. But Prof. Lv continues to use the wasted part, respecting the individual life and cultural integrity.

In this huge wall of humans, the individual life form is submerged by groups, however, the group diverted from the individual sends out enormous energies. For these paper-cut little humans, each life is “as thin as paper”, but they are very tough at the same time, being able to bear a heavy culture, it is respectable.

Reading, collecting, writing and designing books

He is a never stoping machine to “code words” and a prolific writer. Prof. Lv has a predestined relationship with books, and he once wanted to be a writer, but walking closer and closer to the way of art. He said, “It has entwined me in the midst of my life.” Although he gives up the dream of literature, he has written a lot of things in the field of folk art and contemporary art research. So that, we should still have a dream, because it might be realized!

“If someone sends me a gift, I will forget it within a week. Only books, I will remember during my life. It is boring if there is no book.” Lv said that he had the most complete collection on paper-cut books in the world. The representatives of the collections are the “Selected Works of Paper-Cut” by Xu Weina, and “Shina Embroidery Pattern” published by Japan in 1924. In addition to reading, collecting and writing books, Lv Shengzhong also applies the element of “book” in the art installation of “Landscape Study”. Borrowing “Ferry at the Bottom of Ridges in the Summer Figure” as the subject of the installation, and it uses the part of the landscape painting to package the covers of books, so that the spines of books in the bookshelf can be arranged to form a complete landscape painting. At this point, “Landscape” is different from the real scenery in the western painting, not only a skill or subject, but a mind and mental state. It is a Chinese expression on a world view and life consciousness.

Stamps, strength

At 6:00 am on January 5, 2005, there was already a long queue at the gate of 99 postal branches in Beijing. People wrapped in cotton-padded overcoats were anxiously waiting for the zodiac animal stamp for the year of the rooster, specially created by Lv Shengzhong, the “Yiyou Year: The Rich and Honor Rooster (auspicious)” special stamp.

Before it, Lv also designed the first round of Chinese zodiac stamps published in 1989 that is the “Jisi Year: The Ganoderma Lucidum in the Mouth of the Snake”. In 1996, he designed the second round of Chinese zodiac stamps – the year of the rat, “Bingzi Year: Lights Ten Thousand Homes”.

The inside personage says that, Lv Shengzhong respectively designed 3 sets of Chinese zodiac stamps when he was 30, 40 and 50 years old, meaning that his designs also affect three generations of stamp collectors to some extent.

Lv said: “There is no so-called genius, I’m sure not, and even the creation is not originated from an inspiration. It is necessary to do everything carefully and well, exerting myself to the utmost.”

Lv Shengzhong is too abundant to use a text to introduce himself. He is an artistic creator, writing books, writing poetry, designing, he built the first “School of Experimental Art” in China. Those seemingly “traditional” cultural symbols arouse our contemporary reflection.

“Chinese contemporary economic development compels the upheaval of the towns and villages, people are hurrying towards the happiness so that they have no time for the aftertaste of the scenes of the past, while there are many things that are worth carefully collecting.”

China Financial Museum Art Center – The Artist Within 6

Speaker: Lv Shengzhong

Host: Zeng Qiong

Time: March 5, 2016 (Saturday), 15:00-17:00

Venue: Lecture Hall of International Financial Museum, No.5 East Chaoyang Park, Beijing

Application: Please pay attention to the WeChat or Weibo of “Financial Museum Art Center”, clicking it and apply.

The Artist Within

China Financial Museum Art Center adheres to an open and multivariate, compatible and inclusive spirit, based on the contemporary, bringing together the insiders of the art circles, the financial and enterprise circles to talk about creative experiences and life feelings, sharing experiences, innovating ideas, through the platform of the Financial Museum to display their artistic talent and charm, so that more people are able to perceive and understand the story behind the art, at the same time, through the exhibition to focus on the growth of the young artists, to find the future master, contributing to the popularization and promotion of contemporary art education in China.

Since the event started, Fang Lijun, Tan Ping, Ye Yongqing and Sui Jianguo had been successively invited to speak at the Financial Museum Art Center, to share their experiences and life feelings with the financial and enterprise circles as well as art lovers, and they received a warm response.

Courtesy of the artist and China Financial Museum Art Center, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO.

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