Interpretation of Emptiness

Zheng Lu’s Solo Exhibition of Sculpture”. This exhibition, as Zheng Lu’s first solo, will give a broad overview of his artistic career. In view of the title “Interpretation of Emptiness”, “interpretation” refers to “reading or reading aloud”. The sculptures are based on characters composed in lines or in passages for reading, so as to establish the connection between the artistic charm and the theme. “Emptiness”, on one hand, derived from the pierced works’ visual feature, indicates the visual dissociation from the physical reality and the “existence” of hollow frame; on the other hand, “emptiness”, carrying the meaning of “nonbeing” and “etherealness”, stresses the pursuit of intrinsic beauty of life particular to the East. The seven works to be exhibited are composed of more than 20,000 welded stainless steel Chinese characters that make up the texts or poems of the works at the same time. Here, Chinese calligraphy and the sculptures are complementary and interdependent. The Chinese calligraphy is known for its formal beauty, while the characters in Chinese literature are capable of generating rich connotation. A sculpture composed of characters naturally becomes a medium for life experience and artistic expression. Therefore, the appeal of words and their connotation are highlighted, and “emptiness” and “hollowness”, “Yin” and “Yang” are reflected as well. The illuminated works thus begin their journey of inexhaustible changes and extension, wandering between “to be or not to be” and “to be fantasy or to be reality”. The artist’s abiding love of Chinese calligraphy since childhood and his understanding of the perfect combination of poem, calligraphy, painting and seal in traditional Chinese paintings, and, of course, the inspiration from the harmony between the function and the inscriptions on the bronzes that record truthfully the Chinese civilization since ancient time, constitutes the basis for his sculptures that center on Chinese characters and their artistic charm generated. Words in the form of characters in Zheng Lu’s sculpture are both basic elements and medium for information communication whereby he explores means to communicate with nature, to experience the appeal of words, and to approach the core of emptiness. When characters, carrier of culture, are turned from two¬dimension to three¬dimension, from ideograms to images, the essence of culture is successfully transmitted, i.e., by enriching and expanding the aesthetic space of Chinese characters, the concrete “words” “get access to” our soul with the sculpture as medium.