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Chinese 'Farmer Picasso' paints rural France

By Wing Tan (Shanghai Daily)

10:18, October 17, 2012

(File Photo/Xinhua)

"Farmer Picasso" Lu Yongzhong, an artist-farmer from suburban Jinshan District, toured France for a month and a half and has produced his take on the French countryside and towns.

Jinshan farmer paintings - bright, colorful and "childlike" - are considered an important folk art and they are often given to dignitaries from abroad as gifts. They depict country scenes and events from all kinds, from feeding pigs and geese to getting married.

An exhibition of 30 paintings by Lu and photos by French photographer and artist Philippe Bousseaud runs through next Monday at Shanghai Hongqiao Modern Art Exhibition Hall.

Lu traveled around Le Puy-en-Velay, a city in south-central France, last year and Bousseaud joined him in taking photos, each inspiring the other, with their different art forms and backgrounds.

"I'm a son of a Chinese farmer and now I'm working to draw Western countryside views with a Chinese perspective, which is a brand-new experiment for me," Lu says.

The two artists held a successful joint show in Le Puy-en-Velay in April and four of Lu's paintings were collected by the Le Puy-en-Velay Museum and the Haute-Loire Museum.

After this exhibition, Bousseaud will head to Jinshan District, where he will create a series of works, depicting the Chinese countryside.

"We are from entirely different cultures and create artworks with entirely different techniques and structures, but amazingly they go in great harmony," Bousseaud says.

Date: Through October 22, 9am-4:30pm

Venue: Hongqiao Modern Art Exhibition Hall

Address: 650 Xianxia Rd, Shanghai

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