COURTESY LU CHUNTAO“No. 008” is among the evocative abstracts in "Mind Traveling: Ink Art of Lu Chuntao” at San Francisco’s Chinese Culture Center.

Chinese Culture Center turns 50 with ink works by Shanghai artist

Rorschach inkblot tests instantly come to mind when looking at the 30 black-and-white abstract paintings in “Mind Traveling: Ink Art of Lu Chuntao” at the Chinese Culture Center.

The exhibit, guest curated by Kuiyi Shen, marks the Shanghai artist's 50th birthday and the center's 50th anniversary. Chinese Culture Center Artistic Director Abby Chen invited Lu, who is well-known China and Europe, to make his U.S. debut as part of the organization’s “mission of intercultural discovery through art, education and engagement.”

The show’s title “mind traveling” refers to an ancient Chinese concept of experiencing the same feeling of discovery and elation by looking at a painting as when traveling to unknown places.

Shen, a professor of Asian art at UC San Diego who authored the exhibit’s catalog, describes the paintings’ landscapes as “a dream-like world functioning as a source of Lu's thinking, creative process and emotions. In his works, we can perceive the sense of loneliness, solitude, and longing found in real life.”

“When my painting brush dances over rice paper, each rising stroke and each pause are infused with the vision for inner imagery,” says Lu, who attended the exhibition’s weekend opening during Lunar New Year festivities in The City.

Lu's technique is unique. He makes his own paper (what is popularly known as rice paper isn't necessarily made of rice; pulp of various plants can be used) and pastes it up on canvas (or a smooth layer of paper) before applying ink with a brush.

The result is a textured surface, and inkblots merging with lumps of paper.

Although the image of the flower is not easy to see in his current works, lotus plays an important role in Lu's dreamy world. A centuries-long symbol in Asia of transcendence, lotus is represented by Lu in several disguises, including under the surface of water where, Shen says, “The pond creates a site for spiritual wandering.”

Lu's “Lotus Pond” series a few years ago featured color and recognizable flower images. Abstracts on view in “Mind Traveling”represent a new phase in the artist's evolution.

IF YOU GO

Mind Traveling: Ink Art of Lu Chuntao

Presented by Chinese Culture Center

Where: Hilton Hotel, 750 Kearny St., third floor, S.F.

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays; closes April 11

Admission: $5 suggested donation

Contact: (415) 986-1822, www.c-c-c.org

Abby ChenArt & MuseumsartsChinese Culture CenterMind Traveling: Ink Art of Lu Chuntao

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Police release an image a cracked windshield on a Prius that Cesar Vargas allegedly tried to carjack. Vargas, who was shot by police a short time later, can be seen in videos jumping on the windshield and pushing a Muni passenger who disembarked from a bus. (Courtesy SFPD
SFPD releases videos of deadly police shooting

Cesar Vargas killed after reports of carjacking with knife

New legislation would make sure supportive housing tenants don’t pay more than 30 percent of their income for rent.. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner))
Supportive housing tenants could get more help paying the rent

Supportive housing tenants struggling to pay rent could soon see their payments… Continue reading

Organizers of the San Francisco International Arts Festival had planned to use parts of Fort Mason including the Parade Ground, Eucalyptus Grove and Black Point Battery to host performances by about a dozen Bay Area arts groups. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Arts festival sues city over permit denial

Organizer says outdoor performances should be treated like demonstrations, religious gatherings

An oversight body for San Francisco’s mental health programs may be restructured after questions were raised about its management and lack of effectiveness. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Behavioral health oversight body looks for new start — and staff — after mismanagement

Members of an oversight body for San Francisco’s behavioral health programs said… Continue reading

The City requires the recycling or reuse of debris material removed from a construction project site. <ins>(Emma Chiang/Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
<ins></ins>
Permits proposed for haulers of construction debris to achieve zero-waste

San Francisco plans to tighten regulations on the disposal of construction and… Continue reading

Most Read