How Chinese performance artist Fang Lu uses food as artistic medium – Asia Art Archive interview


In an interview with Asia Art Archive (AAA) published in a recent newsletter, Chinese artist Fang Lu explains how she uses food as an artistic medium in her performance art and how, through her works, she investigates what it is like to be a female artist practising in China today.

Chinese artist Fang Lu.

Chinese artist Fang Lu.

As she explains in the AAA interview, Lu always performs her food-oriented works in front of a camera, which is used as a means to transform “simple tasks and everyday actions” and create altered representations.

Food is an object of consumption, change, and procedure…. The use of food in my work might be considered wasteful, because the way in which food is used is paradoxical to the expectations of its practicality (utilitarian purposes) in contemporary society. I don’t believe that art should abide by certain social ethics and logic. Whether it’s wasteful to use these materials comes back to whether artistic practice should be politically correct. I think ‘correctness’ is an operating system that stops people from thinking and questioning, and is manipulated by commercial interests and the social system.

Her current body of work includes the following pieces: Sweet Dream; Automatic Happening; Family; Rotten; Straight Outta HK and Panda Express. In Rotten, food is used as a cosmetic and cooking becomes an aesthetic act, visually powerful without any utilitarian aim. In Automatic Happening, another video piece, Lu establishes a parallel, in terms of process, between the artistic merits of cooking and housework.

About Fang Lu

Born in 1981 in Guangzhou, China, she graduated from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts before studing in New York (School of Visual Arts) and completing her master’s degree at the San Francisco Art Institute. She currently lives between China (in both Guangzhou and Beijing) and San Francisco in the United States.


Related Topics: Chinese artists, performance art, video art, food as a medium

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