Zhen-Huan Lu is world-famous for executing beautiful light as it infiltrates and illuminates aspects of nature. Stylistically, Lu is a super-realist whose vision of the American scene is modern, vibrant and exquisitely handled. He selects remote or intimate landscapes, shorelines, and water views that are accentuated with lone boats, cottages, bicycles, flowers, lanterns, flags, antique chairs and tables, fruit and other objects. He gravitates to interesting, old architectural buildings, seaside homes and cottages, romantic porches, and various settings that speak to the viewer in a personal manner. He captures the essence of fleeting light and the exacting qualities found in natural elements. He exposes the American scene with a unique, fresh, and provocative vision, creating memorable works that are uplifting and beautiful.
Zhen-Huan Lu was born in Shanghai, China in 1950, and obtained his bachelor degree in oil painting from the famous painting department at the Shanghai Theater Academy's Department of Scenic Design. Upon graduation, he was given an assistant professorship in painting at the school. When he was invited to New York in 1986 for his first solo exhibition in the United States, he became part of the first wave of artists from mainland China to show in America. After the artist saw New York City, he became enamored with this country, moved to the U.S. and became an American citizen.
“I love America,” Lu says proudly. “It's an honor for me to paint its coastlines, harbors and landscapes, and I especially like to paint well the American flag. It is a symbol of freedom and free expression. I like that very much! In each painting I try to express exactly what I see and I enjoy painting weathered textures and unique facades.”
Though he studied art in China, Zhen-Huan Lu's extensive training is akin to the curriculum at 19 th century Parisian ateliers. He has studied the masters from Renaissance to the Modernists, and he has become an accomplished painter of the American scene. He paints realistically and skillfully in watercolor, tempera and oil.
Zhen-Huan Lu's paints still life subjects, interiors, houses, boats, and landscapes flooded with light along the Eastern seaboard from Georgia to Maine. Lu is able to depict the character or personality of simple objects. He breathes life into surfaces of weathered brick, wood, or stone and exposes a timeless quality in his art. He is a master at accurately depicting old curling paint on wood or rustic metal, and makes viewers feel as if as if they are sitting on one of his porches, isolated boats, a free-swinging hammock or a desolate dock. His paintings invite the viewer in. He rarely places a human figure in his paintings because that is too literal for him. Light and shadows, vast space, and intricate detailing cause the viewer to envision themselves in each peaceful, harmonious scene. On Nantucket—an island off the coast of Massachusetts—Lu has painted intimate scenes of the historical town and its old wharfs. He enjoys painting the beaches of Cisco, Quidnet, Sconset, Surfside, Madaket, and the Jetties. He is drawn to Nantucket's distinctive light and loves to capture its sheer beauty on canvas.
Zhen-Huan Lu was honored in 2002 when he was chosen the official artist for the president of the United States' 2002 Christmas card. His painting for that card is in the permanent collection of the White House. Zhen-Huan Lu's paintings have been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the United States and China. He has works in the collection of the China National Art Museum and many of his paintings are in eminent private and public collections throughout the United States.
As stated in The Lively Arts, "Mr. Lu's art is unique; [it is] a marriage of European realism, French impressionism, and traditional Chinese painting." Through skillful handling of color, exquisite designs, robust textures and fine compositions, Lu's poetic rendering of the American scene is modern, magnificent and memorable.