Lu Pingyuan: One Night at a Gallery


  • Location:
    SSSSTART, START Museum, Shanghai
  • Artist:

Start Museum presents the twelfth exhibition of Genealogy Study of Artists “Lu Pingyuan: One Night at a Gallery” at SSSSTART on 2022 September 23th.

Focusing on the definition, production and circulation of art, Lu Pingyuan’s artistic practice involves art history, popular culture as well as his personal experience. His practice begins with a unique form – “story”, together with the mediums of text, video, painting, sculpture and installation. Using a fictional approach, these “stories” give art a broader relevance to the reality. Then in the integrated project scene, Lu combines surreal narratives with conceptual art to create a vast fantasy world parallel to reality. Together, they reveal the spiritual dilemmas of contemporary humanity and rediscover the potential of people’s spiritual connection to all creations.

The title of this exhibition is derived from an animation work of Shanghai Animation Film Studio, One Night at a Gallery, 1978. The animation personated the relationship between the institution and art at the time, in which the art works collaborated and autonomised themselves to counteract the effects of an established standard. It is also reminiscent of the Stars Exhibition, an art event that took place the following year. The First Stars Exhibition was held spontaneously on the steel fences outside the National Art Museum of China, and the second was held in the museum. For Lu, the binary narratives on both sides of the fences have long been eliminated, instead there is the inertia of personal psychological construction, as well as the anxiety of facing a complex reality. As an artist today, Lu has keenly captured this reality, poetising and personalising the fences, a universal but useless public facility, in order to reflect a more complex and contradictory world.

One Night at a Gallery will present five newly produced motion graphics and a new series of sculptures, which consist of fence. The videos appropriates two iconic images from the 1978 animation One Night at a Gallery – Mr. “Hat” and Mr. “Stick”. With the subject matter ranging from “how to do self-examination” to “how to win acclaim”, the videos use a hypnotic propaganda tone to isolate people in a surreal context of “self” and “safety”.