Liang Fu

Liang Fu (b. 1993, Sichuan, China) lives and works in Paris, France. He received his BFA and MFA from the National Fine Arts School of Nantes in Nantes, France. Recent exhibitions include DISEMBODIED, Galeria Nicodim, Bucharest (2022); Intangible, Nicodim Upstairs, Los Angeles (2022, solo); Peripheries, Newchild Gallery, Antwerp (2022); Moonstruck Noon, Linseed, Shanghai (2022); petit beurre, Maia Muller Gallery, Paris (2021); Emergence, Riseart Gallery, London (2021).
November 14, 2022
Tell us about your practice.
I am a Chinese artist, I live in France and my exploration so far has been between painting and sculpture, the special meaning of images and materials for me, in painting I have been exploring perception, spirituality, and the reverberation between materials. In sculpture, it is more about repetitive gestures and the different emotions that can be generated by the fragility of materials, such as ceramics, glass, old wood, wax, etc…
You’ve described your works as “stem[ming] from a drop of water” both conceptually and in your use of material, specifically painting with pigments on unprimed canvas. How did you arrive at this becoming central to your practice? Was there an aha moment?
I used watercolor as my primary medium of painting throughout my undergraduate studies, but it wasn’t until graduate school that I began to explore how to combine oil and water-based materials because of the specificity of both materials that fascinated me: the diffusion, transparency, and uncertainty of water, and the evaporation, the thickness, and intensity of color that oil paints can bring. In graduate school, I have been thinking about where each material comes from and the history behind its production. When I saw Fra Angelico’s frescoes, I was fascinated by the matte texture of the mineral pigments. How his frescoes penetrate time and have a relative timelessness. The power of silence and the penetrating power of the gaze when mineral pigments are used in a religious building.
There’s an elusive sense of familiarity when viewing your works together, one where there are either direct references to figures or a play on presence and absence. Do you see it as a singular world you are capturing or is each work thought of as its own?
Each painting is a container for a period of time, and each painting is like a word in a sentence, I want my paintings to be open discussions rather than answers, and I’m happy if each painting can make certain associations and perceptions for the viewer. I’m happy if each painting makes the viewer think and perceive in a certain way because I’m also asking questions that I’m thinking about through the language of painting.
While some may know you more for your paintings, you have also emphasized your sculpture-based work, oftentimes presenting them together. How do you approach these two different mediums within your practice?
When I was fully immersed in the language of painting I realized that it is a very deep conversation, and sculpture is a conversation in another language altogether, and I need to think and explore in a completely different way, but the materiality in painting also makes me ask the same questions in the language of sculpture because, in the actual implementation, you have to think about what kind of material you are going to use to make the sculpture, for example, resin and glass are both transparent substances but each has its own properties. For example, resin and glass are both transparent substances but their properties are so different, so do I want to emphasize the fragility of glass or the durability of resin? Sculpture is a new field and challenges for me compared to painting, I don’t want to look for some similarity between painting and sculpture, I want to try to ask different questions in these two fields and then see what kind of repercussions they have in the end.
What has been inspiring you lately?
Recently: Memoria by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Sayat Nova by Sergueï Paradjanov, Body, Space, Time by Gilles Deleuze, The Wuliang Shrine by WU Hong
What’s next for you?
I’ll start making some sculptures as well as reading some books that I haven’t finished for a long time and learning some new recipes

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