John Dodelande presents Lu Yang

John Dodelande, a seasoned executive, has a consuming passion for contemporary Chinese art. Over the last ten years, he has become an influential collector, whose mission is to introduce the Western world to the talents of the young Chinese generation, like Lu Yang.

John Dodelande, passionate about contemporary Chinese art

A young entrepreneur and seasoned business leader, John Dodelande already has a rich career path, with projects leading him among other activities from real estate to agriculture. But he also displays another facet of his personality: he is indeed passionate about contemporary Chinese art, even becoming a formidable collector for more than a decade.

John Dodelande is thus particularly active, always on the lookout for young talents who tend to free themselves from the artistic heritage of their elders, in an energy that is specific to this new generation. Through his collection, he wishes above all to make the Western public discover the contemporary works of Chinese artists.

He also plans to create a reference database of Chinese contemporary art. Individuals and professionals will then be able to discover Chinese artists, their works, as well as those of the talented and sometimes controversial Lu Yang.

Lu Yang’s journey

Lu Yang was born in Shanghai in 1984. Passionate about art from a very young age, she chose to study in this field. She obtained her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the Chinese Academy of Arts in Hangzhou, in the New Media Department headed by Zhang Peili, considered the father of video art in China.

She subsequently obtained residencies at the Museum of Asian Art in Fukuoka, Japan and in 2013 at the SymbioticA Lab. at the University of Western Australia in Perth.

The artist is nourished by encounters and does not hesitate to call upon artists from various horizons to bring another dimension to her art: performers, designers, experimental composers, musicians…

Enter the specific universe of Lu Yang

“I’m attracted to many different things, and I like to combine them in the pieces I make, even though they wouldn’t normally go together. I like the feeling of freedom it gives me. Lu Yang’s works are often described as “noisy”, “pushing the limits”, “daring”…

The artist loves the bright colors, the frenetic techno music, under a background of pop culture and manga… An explosive mix that may at first sight seem light.

Yet Lu Yang tackles essential themes, such as death, the human body, sexuality, sexual identity more precisely, science, mental illness, religion … So many subjects that echo the problems of Chinese society. But for all that, Lu Yang wants to set the record straight, stating that she is far from being politically involved.

When asked where her inspiration comes from, Yang explains that her works “are an extension of what defines me as a person. I don’t really separate my work from my private life. Everything I create is for me. I have no other viewer in mind.

New technologies at the service of Lu Yang

Even if Lu yang has no clear label and does not appear in any current, she could define herself as a multimedia artist. Almost an understatement when you see her immersive projects come to life thanks to digital technology.

The singularity of Lu Yang resides indeed in the use of technology to give another dimension to her art: videos, installations, animations, games, 3D animation, digital painting, holograms, neon lights… But there again, the artist sets the frame: “I am not a new media artist, nor a post-internet artist. I integrate technology into my work only if it improves my ideas and if it fits with them. But beyond that, it doesn’t interest me. As for augmented reality, she shares her opinion: “It’s a very simple technology, I don’t think it’s a new medium. But if you use it in an original way, there are interesting ideas inside.

Lu Yang’s works

Being in front of a Lu Yang’s work does not leave one indifferent. His universe at first glance may seem fun, colorful, light, and yet, you are quickly overwhelmed by an incongruous feeling of embarrassment or even discomfort when you become aware of the message conveyed.

One can thus quote “Uterus Man” where a grotesquely realized superhero climbs on a cart in the shape of a human pelvis. He then eats placenta to build muscle and skateboards on a winged sanitary napkin.

With “Delusional Crime and Punishment” (2016), Lu Yang highlights the symbols of religion as well as certain mythologies. She represents herself, in 3D computer graphics, with a face labeled “Made by God”. She is then tortured, dragged to hell, a place that seems to be unavoidable, because of our propensity to be attracted by sin…

But it is with “Encephalon Heaven”, “Moving Gods” or “Delusional Mandala” that Lu Yang has made his mark all over the world during various exhibitions and biennials. Science, technology, spirituality, humankind… The artist offers us his striking vision of today’s society.