Lulu Meng, Between Lines
October 20th 2022- November 20th, 2022
Text and photos By RUBEN NATAL-SAN MIGUEL
In her first solo US exhibition at SFA Projects titled Between Lines conceptual artist Lulu Meng addresses notions of inclusiveness, togetherness and belonging. With a celebration and gathering of circular/round shapes, drawings and stainless steel/wood sculptures that represent humanity from all walks of life - individual units are presented as a whole.
Certain artists use highly representational or figurative work to narrate and suggest the times that we live in and at times with graphic, sexualized, violent and shocking imagery. Meng choses to make work in a way that is unspecific to any religion, sex, gender, class or sexual preference. Seeing the world and humanity in an elegant and in a universal manner, Meng presents her thoughts in 3D. In this physical and psychological context, Meng's works are what I would consider ''Quiet Activism." As for the color pallette, or its absence (white is considered the absence of color), Meng uses a white monochromatic color palette using ink and surface to accomplish certain goals. It confronts us; a very soothing, clinical, stark, futuristic- subliminal quality in the room that reminds one of minimalism in art and in films such as Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. Meng also has a high-level, extremely polished production level in terms of the quality and the design which adds a lot to the overall experience of the exhibition.
“We are similar.”
“We are all connected.''
''We Are One'' - Lulu Meng
Exhibition Curator, Sophia Chizuco did a wonderful job organizing the artworks in a cohesive manner that the interaction between the ''Correlation'' installation, the ink on paper drawings and the stainless steel sculptures speak to each other, interact and make the experience for the viewer unified, concise and welcoming. You really feel like you've become a part of the exhibition - part of the environment Meng creates.
''Correlation'' contains several circular objects that are hung and interconnected by a single pulley system. The audience can interact with the objects by moving them up and down. When one object or multiple objects are moved, their movements affect the position of other untouched objects in the system. It requires a negotiation to arrange each object to the ideal viewing position to experience the details of the objects. This installation is a completely interactive piece. When the gallery lights are out, it becomes this cosmic illuminated universe and gives one the sensation of lying down on the floor and staring upward into the cosmos. It's just like when you are in an open field looking up at the starry, constellation filled sky...
In another piece, Meng represents the 50 states of America created right after the US Supreme Court struck down Roe V Wade. She accomplishes this by outlining building symbols, all delineated in a circle to express unity, inclusiveness and togetherness. It reminds one that this situation has an effect on every woman and every citizen in America...
There is also some of the circular objects done as two dimensional works made with ink on paper. This is one below is the one I mentioned that was inspired after the Roe V Wade aftermath representing the 50 states of America:
Meng's sculptures are in her own words assembled as ''Floral Arrangements of Humans'' and in a very abstract/figurative sense by using stainless steel and wire she quite masterfully arranges. By manifesting different shapes, sizes and volumes, overlapping each other and at times the conglomeration of these human arrangements, Meng creates other larger human silhouettes within silhouettes. The sense of inclusiveness of human beings from all walks of life is represented - making these sculptures quite compelling for viewers. WM
Take a stroll downtown to NYC's LES to see this show:
October 20th 2022- November 13, 2022
Ruben Natal-San Miguel is a New York based photogrpher published internationally.view all articles from this author