xinjian's city stream expresses urban fabric as intricate paintings xinjian's city stream expresses urban fabric as intricate paintings
sep 08, 2014

xinjian's city stream expresses urban fabric as intricate paintings

xinjian’s city stream expresses urban fabric as intricate paintings
shanghai no.6
all images courtesy of lu xinjian

 

 

 

since, lu xinjian’s artistic practice has evolved from ‘city DNA‘, through ‘invisible poems‘, and now in its latest form as ‘city stream’. each collection is a continuous exploration of ideas in his unique visual style, where lines, shapes, and colors are the most poignant elements of his works. with a hybrid theme which fuses urban analysis and art among these three distinctive projects, ‘city stream’ can be seen as a continuance of the conceptual development.

lu xinjian city stream urban analysis shanghai china
shanghai no.4-1

 

 

 

living and working in shanghai, xinjian has a special connection with the metropolis he inhabits. to the artist, the urban structure is where our life stories happen – a ‘container’ of lives. for his creative process, he traces and reconfigures the streets, architecture, and public spaces from an aerial view into basic and minimal geometries. in each painting, viewers can immediately grasp the characteristics of a city. this graphic simplicity is where the beauty lies, details in the design evoke the layout and the arrangement of a particular place, yet the complexity lies within the reflection of the historical, economical, political past up to the present-day.

lu xinjian city stream urban analysis shanghai china
(left) shanghai no.5
(right) shanghai no.7 

 

 

 

the exhibition, displays 10 large paintings of shanghai. using a black or blue background with pop art-colored vectors and forms as the foreground, night scenes are envisioned with busy traffic on the elevated highways, countless bright lights, flashing neon signs, and illuminated high-rises. these paintings are the artist’s impression of the shanghai – colorful, dynamic, and always full of vitality.

lu xinjian city stream urban analysis shanghai china
shanghai no.1

lu xinjian city stream urban analysis shanghai china
shanghai no.4-3

 

 

 

in ‘city DNA’, xinjian eliminated the elements of perspective and depth, utilizing the flat, map like aerial view. but in the ‘city stream’ collection, the viewpoint has become the more prominent features in his paintings. the perspective has been altered to a plan-elevation composition that illustrates the structural density of the vertical side of shanghai, with the road systems painted in an exaggerated angle to emphasize their importance within the urban landscape. these double-decker road networks and the density of the fabric are unlike most other major locations in the world. as such, the common approach the series is that the abstracted strokes leave no room for the depiction of human existence. however, these new works create a strong impression of the pulse and the movement of the metropolis that reflects the energy of its residents.

lu xinjian city stream urban analysis shanghai china
shanghai no.9

lu xinjian city stream urban analysis shanghai china
shanghai no.4-2

lu xinjian city stream urban analysis shanghai china
shanghai no.13

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here. 

  • The interesting thing is that it is highly abstract yet very recognizable at the same time (if you know the places). Seems like he depicted mostly the Nine Dragon Pillar intersection in the center of Shanghai and the highway up to Nanpu bridge.
    Fresh and funky, I like!

    arnd says:

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