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Lu Jun

Search terms: digital, photography, painting, traditional, modern, landscape, mixed-media

On the Artistic Methodology of Digital Ink & Wash Paintings

Water is indispensable to life, and primitive life originated from water. Water is also the source of the spiritual and cultural life of the Chinese nation. Tracing back to the time of Lao Zi, an ancient Chinese philosopher, we have been inspired by his classical oriental wisdom, which is different from western philosophical theories, such as “Flexibility is a sublime virtue”; “The wise find joy in water, while the benevolent find joy in mountains”; “Dripping water wears through a rock, which means to conquer the unyielding with the yielding.” As water is believed to be the most popular and most dynamic symbolic image of the Chinese culture, water has become the basic language of traditional Chinese art of ink & wash paintings.

Lu JunHowever, I had never thought so deeply about the source of life until a few years ago when I started to engross myself in ink & water techniques, making me realize about the nature of water. When I observed drops of ink slipping into water, I feasted my eyes on those ever-changing lumps emerging into scenery resembling mountains, animals, plants, characters, etc. I can hardly ignore the wisdom behind the infinite possibilities created by water encompassing and dissolving into minimum units of substance. The flowing water miraculously makes everything in front of my camera possible, and lives come into being.

It dawned on me that it was the living art that I would dream to create. I actually did that by complying with the nature of water, through encompassing, dissolving, transforming and combining eastern and western cultures into one. I put traditional and contemporary culture as a whole by breaking through the symbols and signs we have taken for granted, by toppling down the traditional style and redefining modern fashion. Seeking a new living art among variants enabled me to make works of art with life and soul. I may thus draw the conclusion that as it is to a nation, only by opening up to the outside world, through assimilation, transformation and innovation can the nation be bestowed with dynamics and creativity so as to contribute to the world as a respectable member.

I named my works, created after 2007, “Digital Ink & Wash”. Yet I didn’t give my previous work ‘Chinese Real Estate Dream Series’ the same name although I applied the same ink & wash and digital techniques to them. Why?

I think the digital ink & wash technique should be considered a breakthrough in the field of painting. It is a brand new creation which is not simply a replacement of brush by camera and computer to imitate traditional ink and wash. It is a new tool and the latest state-of-art digital technique to be utilized to explore a new form of painting so as to enrich our visual experiences.
The postproduction phase of my works can be split into two steps: Genes screening and genes reshuffling. This means sorting out useful genes by computer techniques, during which the material can be screened as exquisite dots and lines, to combine them and digitalize them according to the requirement of my artistic creation. Due to powerful computer techniques, this step can transform an abstract into another abstract I desire, or likewise from an abstract to something specific. Because of this, my digital ink & wash paintings are different from the traditional ones in nature. Of course, what is finally presented is the virtual state as a result of the process of reproduction. It looks absolutely natural, but distinctly different. As it is between the species produced from genetic techniques and the ones of natural crosses, you have possibilities beyond your imagination.

The core concept of my works is to redefine the Chinese traditional culture and the essence of ink & wash by digital technology. By photography and digitalization, I elaborate the Taoist philosophy: “Taoism created the law of nature, which was one; the law of nature created yin and yang, based on which everything in the world can be generated, which were two; one plus two equals three, which constitutes everything in the world.” Another one is, “Everything on earth is generated by being, and being comes from nothingness.” A drop of ink can naturally illustrate the doctrine of Taoism, which I adopted to guide me in my works of art. I think it is from abstract to representation, and the image, particularity of ink and water, can be visualized. The ink dropped in water is abstract and nil, but it can be utilized to express my ideas freely between actual and virtual. It was the realistic photography and the virtual digitalization that brought me into a world of fun games, in which I hope to explore new possibilities of the time-honored ink and water cultural heritage of the millennium with contemporary vitality.


1962 Born in Hubei Province, China
1983 Graduated from Wuhan University of Technology

Solo Exhibitions

2009 Photographic Ink & Wash, m97 Gallery, Shanghai, China
Chinese Ink & Wash, Lu Jun Solo Exhibition, Zenith Gallery, Beijing, China
2008 How Far From Us, 8th Pingyao International Photography Festival,Shanxi, China
Chinese Ink & Wash: Lu Jun Solo Exhibition, Epson Art Workshop, Beijing, China
2007 Consume Note: 7th China Pinyao International Photography Festival, Shanxi, China
2006 Consume Happiness, Memory Space Gallery, Beijing’s 798, China
Chinese Real Estate Dream: Honored Excellent Photographer Award, 6th China
Pingyao International Photography Festival, Shanxi, China
2005 Who I am? The 5th China Pingyao International Photography Festival, Shanxi, China
2003 Lu Jun Conceptual Photography Exhibition, Shenzhen Art Museum, China
Lu Jun Fine Art Photography Exhibition, Zhuhai Museum, China

Group Exhibitions

2009 Color, Contemporary Ink Art Exhibition, Today Art Museum, Beijing
7th Contemporary Art Biennale, Florence, Italy
2008 Exquisite Corpse: China Surreal, m97 Gallery, Shanghai, China
Look-China, Museum of Imperial City, Zenith Gallery, Beijing China
FOTOBILD Berlin International Photography Art Forum, Germany
Toronto CONTAC T International Photography Festival, Canada
Chinese Contemporary Photography, 7th International Foto Festival, Lodz Art Center, Poland
Chinese Contemporary Photography, Zenith Gallery, Beijing, China
Art Beijing Contemporary Art Exhibition, Beijing, China
Presence: A Group of Materialists’ World View, 8th Pingyao International Photography Festival, Shanxi, China
4th International Lianzhou International Photography Exhibition, Lianzhou, China
6th Shenzhen International Biennial, Shenzhen, China
2007 Chinese Photography Investment Classical Collections Exhibition, Guanfu Classical Art Museum, Beijing, China
Inside, Outside, Shenzhen Contemporary Art Exhibition, Shenzhen Sculpture Gallery, China
1st 5x7 Pingyao Photo Biennale Exhibition, Pingyao TS1 Contemporary Art Center, Beijing
Starving Artist, 5th Anniversary Exhibition, C5 Art Center, Beijing, China
2006 Beijing Image Expert Interview, Beijing, China
5th International Ink Painting Biennial of Shenzhen, Shenzhen Art Museum, Shenzhen, China
Automan Season Gallery, Beijing 798, Switzerland, Singapore
2005 Present Continues – Contemporary Art Exhibition, Shenzhen Sculpture Gallery, Shenzhen, China
2005 Korea Donggang International Photography Festival, Excellent Foreign Photographer Award, Korea
The City’s Skin Contemporary Art Exhibition, Macao Tap Seac Gallery, Shenzhen Art Museum, Shenzhen, China
2003 Macao – Zhuhai Contemporary Art Exchange Exhibition, Macao
Bare Androgyny Contemporary Art Exhibition, 798 Art District, Beijing, China
2001 China Performance Photography Exhibition, iPac Contemporary Art Archives, Genoa, Italy
City Slang – Contemporary Art Exhibition, Pearl River Delta, He Xiangning Museum of Art, Shenzhen, Shenzhen, China
2nd Italy iPac International Contemporary Art Biennial Exhibition, State Contemporary Art Museum, Genoa, Italy
100 Faces of Artists Exhibition, Nanjing, China
1994 China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Contemporary Photography Exhibition, Hong Kong Arts Center, Hong
Several Contemporary Photography Group Exhibitions in Denmark
1991 3rd Shanghai International Photography Exchange Exhibition, Shanghai, China


Art reviews and features about Lu Jun and his work have appeared in the following publications:
2009 Gallery Magazine
Chinese Photography Magazine
2008 Art Manager Magazine
Today Art Museum publication
2007 Ten To The Arts Magazine
2006 Chinese Avant-Garde Art 1979-2004 Magazine, Hebei Fine Arts Publishing House
That’s Beijing Magazine
Chinese Avant-Garde Art 2000-2005 Magazine, Hunan Fine Arts Publishing House
2004 Ten To The Arts Magazine
2003 Oriental Art Magazine
2002 Konemeann, NUDES INDEC 1
2001 Art Community Magazine
2000 Modern Photography Magazine
1991 Modern Photography Magazine


Macao Art Museum
Shenzhen Art Museum
Zhuhai Museum
Shenzhen Fine Art Institute

Lu Jun - Fox Lu Jun - How Far from Us


Lu Jun - Lotus


No_11. 2007

To view more of Lu Jun’s work, visit the m97 Gallery website or his individual main page on

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Page last updated 04 October, 2011