Mu Lei is a Beijing-based professional artist on surreal paintings. He was born in Jiangsu, China in 1984. He got his Bachelor of Arts from Sichuan Institute of Fine Art in 2007. He becomes famous when his work was exhibited in many art shows around the world including “Future Pass,” Abbazio di San Gregorio and Palazzo Mangili-Valmarana, Venice, Italy; National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan; Today Art Museum, Beijing, China. Check his work out here.
Mu Lei path of success is not that difficult as most of his predecessors. When China officially opened its doors to the west, Mu Lei represents a generation under the ever-increased influence of western consumerism yet without the emotional trauma suffered by prior generations. His artistic ability stands out working as a window to the cultural attitude of his predecessors in terms of art creativities.
Being the youngest artist to exhibit at the prestigious Venice Biennale in 2011, Mu discovers “his” new China art with the visual symbols that reflect the new generations across the world who relate to a similar cultural experience shared through the global media and the internet.
His “anime pop” style embodies the essence of contemporary Chinese youth culture meets consumerist allure that has been transforming the country for nearly three decades.
When asked about how he sees his artistic style and what inspires him most he said, “I usually play with the concepts of weakness and strength, in a surreal way. Stealth fighters, submarines and other symbols of strength collide with Eastern symbolism in the form of clouds, water, lotuses, the latter of which actually prove to be more powerful. These ideas spring from traditional theories of yin and yang and the five elements concept of metal, wood, water, fire, and earth — the elements reinforce one another — weak relative to strong, male relative to female. Water can carry a boat, but it can also sink it”.
And whether or not he is more influenced by Chinese artistic elements or Western elements, he said, “In my artwork, by using a humorous context I want to point out how modern society has in many ways crushed traditional civilization. Here, Chinese traditional culture collide with Western philosophical norms, but that also reflects the current state of China’s social development and what that means for society as a whole.”
But when having to express his feeling about the impact that technology has had on contemporary art in China. He said, “Well, I don’t only work in easel painting, I also create new media installations. Actually, a decade ago people didn’t rely that much on computers. The connection between digital media and art wasn’t nearly as close as it is today, and people are changing along with the times. But by trying out new technological platforms, artists can try out a lot of creative ideas, which I think actually increases the possibilities for experimentation and engaging in dialogue with the audience.”
H/T Art People