19 January 2011 – 22 May 2011
Currently, Chinese artist Yao Lu’s photographs are being exhibited at Istanbul Modern.
I have visited his exhibition yesterday and astonished by his articulate & detailed digital photography skills as well as his artistic point of views. Most of all, I found his illusionary approach to his work, most impressive. While the images looks like a classic Chinese painting with a mystic Far Eastern landscape form a distance, closer view converts the whole composition into something else which is not expected to be seen!
By this series of artwork, the artist is breaking the memorized conception rules of Chinese painting Art and deconstructing the look by today’s elements of damaged buildings, roads and materials using advanced photography and digital technology. Every detail in composition is different from what has been expected to be seen. So I can say the whole exhibited pieces are artistically illusionary and surprising.
The mountains covered by the green nets are good enough to show the technical skill of Yao Lu’ s using digital art. This detail reminded me Christo’ s work where he was actually covering, packing the bridges, buildings and rocks by fabric in real life.
“Mounds of garbage covered in green protective nets photographed by You Lu and reworked by computer to re-create Chinese painting aesthetics. By digitally adding pagodas, houses, boats, interesting trees onto the photos he took at these sites he produces meticulously created landscapes.” (ıstanbul Modern)
“Generally speaking, my works use the form of traditional Chinese painting to express the face of China. Today China is developing dramatically and many things are under constant construction. Meanwhile many things have disappeared and continue to disappear. The rubbish dumps covered with the ‘shield’, a green netting, are a ubiquitous phenomenon in China. I want the world to be able to make a benign transformation. People must protect the environment. This work implies that the world should become more and more harmonious. Photography can be understood in traditional ways: It can ‘record’ many histories long before our own time, and it can take people back to times and situations many years ago. But photography is also very contemporary. It can re-assemble and re-edit the things that we actually see in order to produce illusions that people see when they are in front of such photographic works. In these works, you see images that are both real and fictional. Concerning the style of my works, I believe in maintaining a beautiful feeling in the framing of the image, including composition, line, density and framing, all the elements regularly contained in painting. I think a good art work is composed of many elements, and it should reflect the knowledge and the skill of the artist. A good art work has intelligence. The flexibility of photography provides a big expressive space for me. I can work with it in many ways in making my creations.”
On his interviews, the artist also states that he is overwehelmed by the fact of Istanbul is a city mixed by history and modernism and he is very happy to showcase his work in Istanbul.
The crator of the exhibition, Engin Özendes states 11 art pieces out of 31 has been specifically designed by the Artist for the exhibition in Istanbul.
Yao Lu is also winner of the 2008 BMW Paris Photo Prize and he is names as one of the key figures of contemporary Chinese photography.