Ming Lu credit Irina Rusinovich
Text: I r i n a R u s i n o v i c h
Where do you come from, where and when were you born?
I was born in 93 in a seaside city in China.
Please tell us your artistic vita in a few sentences.
After graduating from Royal College of Art, I did an artist residency in Berlin and moved here afterwards. Berlin has been a very welcoming city for me, I was lucky enough to find my galleries. Meanwhile I also participated in various group shows at both non-commercial organisations and commercial galleries, including König Galerie, Centre Francais de Berlin, Museum of London etc.
How would you describe your creative process?
I work closely with the centuries-old handicrafts that rooted in my culture. As Made-in-China mass production being a global industrial phenomenon, I turn the slow and labor-consuming craftsmanship into conceptual contemporary art with the visual languages that I’m trying to build these years. I work across different mediums, including sculpture, embroidery, porcelain, installation etc. Concept is more important to me compared to a specific medium, and humour is a vital elements throughout my works.
Dialogue – reason
My Favourite Little Soul
What was the key influence that led to the development of your process and style?
It was the moment I realized that the languages I learnt and used to create was very westernised (it still is now). It hit me and I started to reflect and self-criticise, then I started to look more into history.
What does art mean to you personally? Is there a goal you’re trying to accomplish?
With the mixture of cultures, I create work playfully with explorations of self-identity, collective memories and personal narratives, both in its content and in its visual languages.
Do you have a life philosophy? Does your creative practice fit in with this philosophy?
I might have different life philosophies in different stages of my life.
What is your favourite museum or art gallery and why?
I enjoy wondering in all museums with ancient Egyptian, African, and east Asian collections, however most of these museums have a colonial history.
Who would you most like to collaborate with and why?
I would like to collaborate with kids the most. The way small kids draw a line and shape before any art training always fascinates me, there is almost a primitive sense in it.
How has covid affected you and your art?
Covid started shortly after I moved to Berlin. At the beginning of this pandemic many art activities were cancelled, it isolated me but also gave me a lot of quiet time to create and reflect.
From September 1 to September 13, your solo exhibition will be held at HAZEGALLERY. Tell us more about the exhibition.
The exhibition shows my continuous explorations of ancient culture with humour and playfulness. One of the highlights will be my half snake half human soft sculpture “Mawa” that inspired by folk tale and ancient stone carving figures. “Mawa”, that sounds like “mama”, has a connection with the first goddess in the Chinese culture. But Mawa is not old or aged, her soul is as young as mine, and what I experience resonates in her ancient echoes. She is a contemporary goddess grows from the blossom of the past.
The show also includes my first porcelain installation. The porcelain are carved with texts & symbols with a special glaze so light can shine through their bodies, and creates an immersive and mysterious situation for audiences to experience and wander around.
What’s next for you?
I’m working towards a solo show at Haze Gallery in September this year, in the meantime I’m working on a porcelain project, a series of bronze sculptures and an installation.