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History of Chemistry II


History of Chemistry II – Excessively Restrained Mountaineering Enthusiasts (2006), single channel video, 95', ed. of 5

Lu Chunsheng's highly distinctive feature length film "History of Chemistry II" is staged in vacant spaces where the protagonists seem lost or detached from reality, wandering around like somnambulant sleep-walkers. Correspondingly, the most significant aspect of the film is its absence of any clear narrative, instead the film is structured around repetition: In Beckett-like absurd scenes we witness the characters repeating actions that make no obvious sense. The performances are perfectly synchronized to the sound score composed by B6. The film's odd charisma clearly plays homage to the surrealist works of Fellini and Bunuel.

Like in "History of Chemistry I" (2004), part II (2006) elaborate invented landscapes in a style that is simultaneously magical and hyper-real. Artist glance these visual actions often seem bizarre and absurd. Yet these dream-like places are also scattered with evidence of a more everyday reality. Within the borders of his impossible realms, Lu Chunsheng distributes bits and pieces of a familiar, more comprehensible reality. These are mystical spaces that have become oddly dominated by industrial architecture and abandoned factories. However apparently distant or lost in space and time, these mystic states have also been penetrated by contemporary personas where the magical meets the mundane.

Lu Chunsheng graduated from China National Academy of Fine Arts, Department of Sculpture. He has exhibited widely in China and abroad. He resides and works in Shanghai. Recent exhibitions include The Materialists Are All Asleep, The Red Mansion Foundation (London, UK, 2008) 10th International Istanbul Biennale (Turkey, 2007), 27th Bienal de Sao Paulo (Brazil, 2006), China Contemporary Art, Architecture and Visual Culture, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (Rotterdam, 2006), The Thirteen: Chinese Video Now, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center (New York, 2006), Out of Sight, De Appel Foundation (Amsterdam, 2005), Double Vision, 1st Lianzhou International Foto Festival (2005) and Zooming Into Focus: Chinese Contemporary Photography and Video from Haudenschild Collection, National Art Museum (Beijing, 2005) and subsequently in Mexico City and Shanghai.

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