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ART SEEN - Mingjun Luo 'Here and Now'

Mid Morning Mix // Art & Culture // April 4, 2016

The Pully Art Museum is a hidden gem, nestled in the picturesque old town of Pully above Lake Geneva. It consists of two adjoining old houses, beautifully renovated providing the perfect backdrop for any exhibition.

ART SEEN - Mingjun Luo 'Here and Now'

The current exhibition 'Ici et Maintenant' (Here and Now), shows the work of Swiss artist Mingjun Luo, who was born in China and became Swiss when she fell in love and married a Swiss citizen.

Local artist Uli Van Neyghem shares her top tips on this exhibition with WRS.

The exhibition explores her roots and memories of a China that she left nearly 30 years ago in 1987. Her artworks are a form of identity research, occupying a sort of hybrid space in between the Chinese and the Swiss culture.

What you will get to see are transparent and delicate pieces of art, where old family photos seem to dissolve, rendered in almost monochrome huge format oil paintings. In another series of paintings she remembers her young girl fascination with the mini skirt uniforms worn by female Chinese soldiers during parades, that contrasted so much with the all covered up traditional Chinese outfits young women outside of Mao's army were wearing.

A banal object like a lipstick (which was considered a decadent capitalist temptation under Mao) is the icon of another series of artworks.

In autoportraits and art installations featuring stamps and Chinese admin documents as a focal point, Luo also explores the identity loss she was feeling when she had to give up her Chinese passport after her marriage. Apparently, all her records (including her birth certificate) were erased by the Chinese authorities after she took on the Swiss nationality. As her parents are still living in China and are becoming more and more frail with age, that causes all sorts of problems and complications which she explores through the art.

The exhibition consists of artworks in a variety of media, from oil paintings to Chinese ink, photographs, film, sound installations and amazing huge format paintings done in pencil.

There was a long conceptual preparation of the exhibition, involving trips to China. The majority of the shown artworks have been designed especially for this exhibition and the result is intense, as well as transparent and delicate - this is Mao's style.

In other words: a beautiful exhibition in a hidden gem of a museum. Go see it!

Hot tip:
Combine the trip to Pully with a walk along the lake. There is a beautiful footpath leading all the way from the promenade in Ouchy to the port in Lutry (and further if you still have the energy). Depending on your speed this will take you between 30 and 45 minutes (if you are slowed down by kids throwing stones into the water, maybe an hour) one way.

In Lutry port there is not only a lovely buvette (unfortunately very difficult to get a space on the terrace on a nice day) or the very nice Italian restaurant "La Cantinetta Meal" (www.meal.ch), with great interiors and a beautiful terrace, where you could have lunch or early dinner (reservation recommended).

Another possibility for a bite would be the Creperie Le Café Noble (Grand Rue 13) in the village with lovely outside seating next to a fountain.

Name of exhibition:       'Ici et Maintenant'
Artist:                             Mingjun Luo
Until:                              Now until May 15
Where:                           Musée d'art de Pully
                                      Chemin Davel 2
                                      CH-1009 Pully
Opening times:              Wednesdays-Sundays 14h-18h
Entrance fees:               Adults (16+) CHF 7

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