Interview with artist Ming Lu

Where do you come from, where and when were you born? 


I was born in 93 in a seaside city in China.


Please tell us your artistic vita in a few sentences.


After graduating from Royal College of Art, I did an artist residency in Berlin and moved here afterwards. Berlin has been a very welcoming city for me, I was lucky enough to find my galleries. Meanwhile I also participated in various group shows at both non-commercial organisations and commercial galleries, including König Galerie, Centre Francais de Berlin,  Museum of London etc.


How would you describe your creative process?


I work closely with the centuries-old handicrafts that rooted in my culture. As Made-in-China mass production being a global industrial phenomenon, I turn the slow and labor-consuming craftsmanship into conceptual contemporary art with the visual languages that I’m trying to build these years. I work across different mediums, including sculpture, embroidery, porcelain, installation etc. Concept is more important to me compared to a specific medium, and humour is a vital elements throughout my works.

What was the key influence that led to the development of your process and style?


It was the moment I realized that the languages I learnt and used to create was very westernised (it still is now). It hit me and I started to reflect and self-criticise, then I started to look more into history.


What does art mean to you personally? Is there a goal you're trying to accomplish?


With the mixture of cultures, I create work playfully with explorations of self-identity, collective memories and personal narratives, both in its content and in its visual languages.


Do you have a life philosophy? Does your creative practice fit in with this philosophy?


I might have different life philosophies in different stages of my life.

What is your favourite museum or art gallery and why?


I enjoy wondering in all museums with ancient Egyptian, African, and east Asian collections, however most of these museums have a colonial history.


Who would you most like to collaborate with and why?


I would like to collaborate with kids the most. The way small kids draw a line and shape before any art training always fascinates me, there is almost a primitive sense in it.


How has covid affected you and your art?


Covid started shortly after I moved to Berlin. At the beginning of this pandemic many art activities were cancelled, it isolated me but also gave me a lot of quiet time to create and reflect.

What’s next for you?


I’m working towards a solo show at Haze Gallery in September this year, in the meantime I’m working on a porcelain project, a series of bronze sculptures and an installation.


Text Irina Rusinovich