This Spring HdM GALLERY will present ‘Black Dots’ by Lu Chao. The sixth instalment in a range of sequential exhibitions exploring the colour black, ‘Black Dots’ continues Lu Chao’s trademark investigation into issues of identity and the unknown, mass society vs. the individual.

Inspired by both Chinese and Western philosophy, Lu Chao’s large scale, monochromatic oil paintings are surrealist dreamscapes. An astute observer of society in all its guises, Lu Chao’s approach is part painter, part sociologist and his paintings shine a searing spotlight on the human condition. Drawing inspiration from the quotidian, Lu Chao uses newspapers, magazines but also his personal experience and daily travels to create his canvases, scouring the faces of passers-by before transcribing these faces to canvas. He describes “imagining the story behind every face”.

“Every dot on the canvas is like the birth of a new ‘life’ in the universe, and its relationship to time and space makes me very curious.” – Lu Chao

Influenced by his upbringing in densely-populated mainland China, Lu Chao is fascinated by the notion of the crowd - “I love crowds, I fear them and I am curious about the life of each member”. His previous paintings are populated by miniature armies of figures and teem with a restless humanity. Rendered with meticulous precision, Lu Chao’s miniature figures and his use of monochrome reference traditional Chinese ink painting which he developed a passion for whilst at university in Beijing. Just as Lu Chao draws out the individual from within the crowd in his crowd scenes, in the new work, ‘Black Dots’ he uses the dot as a symbol to explore ideas of “similarity, uniqueness, tininess and the mystery of life.”

Born in 1988 in Shenyang, Lu Chao trained at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing before completing his Masters at the Royal College of Art in London. He currently works between London and Beijing and has exhibited widely, both in China and Europe, and has participated in major art fairs such as Art Basel and Art Basel Hong Kong. His work features in several major collections including the Louis Vuitton Collection (Paris), the Today Art Museum (Beijing) and the MARTa Herford museum in Germany. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue with academic texts by the artist’s professor Jonathan Miles (Royal College of Art) and curator James Putnam as well as an interview by Olivia Sand in Asian Art Newspaper.