At Zona Maco 2018 rosenfeld porcini is pleased to present a curated booth featuring works by Chinese artist Lu Chao (1988) and Dutch artist Levi van Veluw (1985).
For the occasion the booth will be coated black, as a form of visual projection of the profound connotation and relevance that this color achieves within both artists practice. Two additional wall segments organize the booth in symmetrical connected spaces suggesting the open dialogue between the artists in a context of spatial cohesion.
Four new canvasses by Lu Chao will be highlighted in the first section. Allegorical and mysterious, these black and white works force the viewer to enter a universe of narrative estrangement which reaches its climax as one ingresses Van Veluw’s adjacent disruptive environment. Here, in a dimly-lit, claustrophobic setting, a wooden-carved desk and its chair allude to an absent protagonist. A selection of enigmatic drawings echoing uninhabited workplaces and Aztec-like architectural landscapes and an arabesque-influenced wall sculptural piece complete the setting. Elements of fantasy, order, alienation and oblivion intertwine whilst the contemplation of emptiness and desolation experienced by the individual emerges as the fil rouge behind the works on show.
Van Veluw’s multi-disciplinary practice encompasses labor-intensive formally rigorous design, large-scale installation, drawings, videos, sculpture and photography. His often gargantuan projects examine the underlying tension between our desire for a regulated universe and the rational impossibility of total control.
On congruent planes, if in Van Veluw’s repertoire of deserted places the human presence is semantically perceived only through its absence, the individuals in Chao’s painting are relegated to a miniaturized version of themselves and as such struggling when confronted with the greater question of the possible oppressive existence of an ultra-terrestrial authority.
The concoction of Chinese and Western cultures, of the traditional and the contemporary and the alternation of figuration and abstraction are key features in Chao’s vocabulary. His original painting technique, in which a bold and adventurous use of black and white mirrors the drama of the story-telling, pays a remarkable tribute to the economy of means embodied by traditional Chinese black ink painting.