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). 

THAT: Tell us about your practice.
LF: I am a Chinese artist living in France. Through my painting and sculpture practice, I am exploring the special meaning between images and materials. Within my painting practice, I have been exploring perception, spirituality, and the reverberation between materials. In sculpture, I have been interested in repetitive gestures and the different emotions that can be generated through the fragility of materials, such as ceramics, glass, old wood, wax, etc.

THAT: 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?
LF: Throughout my undergraduate studies, watercolor was my primary medium of painting, and it wasn't until graduate school that I began to explore combining oil and water-based materials. The specificity of these two materials fascinates me: the diffusion, transparency, and uncertainty of water; combined with the evaporation, thickness, and intensity of color from oil paints. At this time I was also 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 he uses. I was also fascinated by how his frescoes have a timeless quality and how the usage of mineral pigments in this religious building has such a penetrating power with their gaze, especially amidst silence. 

THAT: Do you see your works together as a singular world you are capturing or is each work thought of as its own?
LF: Each painting is a container of 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'll be happy if each painting can create certain associations and perceptions for the viewer. Through each painting, I'm asking questions using the language of painting.

THAT: 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?
LF: I always think that when I fully immersed myself in my painting practice, it is almost like having a very deep conversation. My sculpture practice is about having the same conversation but in a whole other language altogether, where I need to think and explore in a completely different way. But the materiality aspect of my painting practice requires me to ask the same questions in the language of sculpture. When I am making a sculpture, I have to think and negotiate the kinds of materials I am going to use. For example, both resin and glass have transparent qualities but their properties are very different, so I have to investigate whether I want to emphasize the fragility of glass or the durability of resin.

My sculpture practice is a new field and challenges for me. I don't want to just look for similarities between my painting and sculpture practices instead, I want to try to ask different questions within these two fields and see how they can influence each other in the end.

THAT: What has been inspiring you lately?
LF: Memoria by Apichatpong Weerasethakul; Sayat Nova by Sergueï Paradjanov; Body, Space, Time by Gilles Deleuze; and The Wuliang Shrine by Wu Hong.

THAT: What's next for you?
LF: I am going to start making some new sculptures, reading some books that I haven't finished in a long time, and learning some new recipes.

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