Artist Ming Lu In her delicate blue and white porcelain work, many facets that are associated with Chinese culture merge. She uses traditional handicraft techniques to sculpt ubiquitous cultural symbols, often found on the streets of Chinatown, encompassing both the Berlin-based artist’s broad cultural connections with her home country and more personal interactions.
In the three busts that make up “Dialogue”, for example, Ming Lu transcribes conversations with her partner in calligraphic script. With the titles “Reason”, “Trick” and “Reaching a Station We’ll Never Reach”, the self-portraits embody a contemporary change of situation and perspective through a classic medium. Likewise, a trio of slaughtered ducks is reminiscent of the popular dish in its shape and is covered with a traditional floral motif, a cracked glaze and characters with an old-fashioned spelling of “I love you”. Each of the birds strike a balance between history and more modern culture, which Ming Lu describes:
It’s a fun experience the first time I went to Chinatown and saw these roast ducks hanging on the windows of the restaurant. We don’t do that in China, at least not in the cities I’ve been to. It’s a fun experience for me. And if you go to a museum, you will see a lot of porcelains in the “China” (the country) section. It also represents China in a way it has in history, especially in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, (porcelain) was one of the greatest export items so I put them together.
Ming Lu works across media, and you can see more of her sculptures, paintings, and embroidery on her side. Some of the pieces shown here can be seen until July 3rd as part of their solo exhibition Tigress, tigress at the BBA gallery in Berlin and in a group exhibition from June 24th to 30th Cold store Berlin.
Are stories and artists like this important to you? To become something Colossal member and support independent art publications. Join a community of like-minded readers passionate about contemporary art and support ours Interview series, get access to partner discounts and much more. Join now!