Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner


The revered abstractionist and minimalist Lao Lianben takes cues from a variety of timeless motifs and aesthetics from East Asia. Most notably, Lao's artistic practice is rooted in a number of eastern philosophies such as Zen Buddhism and Taoism. These are evident in the palpable sparseness and quietude most of the artist's works exude. From simple black lines against a stark white canvas to rudimentary shapes interspersed with expertly executed visual elements, Lao's works are singular and unique in their ability to create an atmosphere that does not only invite an air of silence, but that of introspection as well—a feat that is often sought after but rarely executed with precision in the world of art. Beyond his intellectual and philosophical roots, Lao also draws upon a number of artistic techniques and practices. From traditional guó huà paintings to the zen-like allure of Japanese karesansui, Lao's paintings take inspiration from a multitude of East Asian art. This particular piece titled Fake Chinese is a novel exploration into the form and function of Chinese calligraphy scroll painting. The first and most notable similarity between Lao's works and Chinese calligraphy is the length of the canvas. The dimensions of the work give Lao's piece a certain narrative quality, a feature that is also present in scroll painting. Yet, instead of the stringent visual elements and characters of scroll paintings, Lao's work features an assemblage of seemingly jarring lines and shapes. It is this departure that encapsulates Lao's artistic philosophy. Wherein traditional calligraphy relays to us its message through a carefully elaborated system of characters, Lao communicates his message through the experience of simply viewing and encountering his work.