CRAZY FOR PAINTING, CRAZY FOR TEA
A Solo Exhibition by Luo Jianwu
11.1.2014 - 29.1.2014
Luo Jianwu (b.1944) was born in Wusheng, Sichuan in 1944 during the Japanese occupation of China. At the age of 5, his family migrated from Beijing to Taiwan. Drawn to fine art from a young age and afforded access to the famed National Palace Museum collection where his mother was a ticket vendor, Luo taught himself the rudiments of ink painting. In 1966, he graduated from Guoli Yichuan, the National Art Institute of Taipei.
In 1987, he moved to the USA. In New York Luo Jianwu was fortunate to befriend the famed artist and connoisseur C.C. Wang. Having access to the great paintings in the C.C. Wang collection and discussing these works with the famed collector furthered his resolve to produce works of ink art in the tradition of the great Song dynasty master artists. He joined several group shows in New York which led to his paintings being collected by The Harvard University and Princeton University museums.
Luo didn’t return to China – his ancestral home for over 50 years. The artist is currently based Shandong, China near the base of Mount Tai. Luo’s art practice frequently leads him into the forests and mountains of China to find inspiration and to sketch and photograph landscape and trees that find their way into his ink paintings. His playfulness with composition and his adroitness with the brush combine as he creates multi-layered visualizations of reverence and meditation distilled from the natural world.
Complimenting his life as an established ink artist, Luo Jianwu is also a tea master and connoisseur. His passion for selecting, brewing and his enjoyment of drinking the finest tea is as much way of life as his painting practice.
Luo Jianwu’s first solo exhibition “Crazy for Painting, Crazy for Tea”, features twenty-two paintings created over a period of eight years all inspired by his personal experiences in cities, mountains and forests tempered by his Taoist belief about man’s oneness with nature. These paintings capture Luo’s unique vision and assured technical prowess with ink and brush as he depicts lotus, mountains, landscapes, gnarled roots and ancient trees. His painting style is very unique – combining traditional Chinese brush strokes with Western drawing and painting techniques learned long ago at the National Art Institute, Taipei. Luo Jianwu works a long time to complete each painting. Each artwork is dated by his age upon completion, as they are almost like his personal life companions growing old together.