Lu JianJun, such is the name of the creator of Symmetrim Art. He was born in 1960 beside West Lake, a natural spectacle located in Hangzhou city of Zhejiang province, China. 1960 is a year plagued by natural disasters spanning over a three-year period, which consequently led to a great famine that killed off a third of the population of China. Hunger overtook the desperate survivors who resorted to eating tree barks and grass. Therefore, Lu’s survival was regarded by many as a God-given miracle, considering that numerous others did not make it. Though physically weak, the young Lu was compassionate and courageous. One time Lu was playing in the field with other kids, and suddenly a boy fell into a filthy gutter. Panicked, everyone dispersed except for him. Given that Lu could yet speak, he ran home seeking aid from his mother and other adults, who later found out that the gutter was more than thirty feet deep. Consequently, he became the hero of the rescued boy. Lu was only three years old when the incident happened.
Lu’s parents thought that he was mute because he did not learn to speak until he reached age four. Since Lu’s mother is a kid fashion’s designer, he was influenced by her artistic background and loved to paint at a young age. His paintings were quite popular among his comrades. Unfortunately, at age six he was hit by a loaded truck and suffered a puncturing deformity to his face and skull, causing profuse bleeding and fracture on the cheek bone. This happened at the time of Cultural Revolution when medical personnel and aid were scarce. As a result, Lu’s wound was stitched up without using proper aseptic techniques and wound care. Not only was his cheek bone deformed, he also suffered a concussion following the collision which damaged his memory function. While many of his elementary classmates could already memorize lengthy ancient poems, he could not memorize one past a few lines. Yet, what is worth noting is that even though his forgetfulness brought upon a great deal of pain on his learning journey. Lu was often ostracized and socially isolated due to the deep scarring of his face.
Since then, Lu secluded himself and started drawing in his own room. He began his formal art training at the age of 10. His persistent practice was evident when everyday Lu’s parents could hear the sounds of pencil scribbles late into the night. The young Lu was a forgotten child who lived in a world under his drawing pencil. In fact, every art work is a representation of his inner world. At age nine, in response to the slogan “Dig deep tunnels, store enough grain”, all students had to dig mountain passageways under the guidance of a teacher. Unfortunately, more than ten students including Lu were buried by a cave-in accident, which killed two and rendered many conscious. Lu suffered an injury to his ankle and almost lost his life. Later on in middle school, he became a frequent target of school bully since classmates mistook his scar as the hallmark of a troublemaker. Furthermore, many borrowed money from Lu without intending to repay. Gradually, he learned to disregard and ignore the annoyance and fully devoted himself into painting.
Lu’s hard work and rigorous training during childhood contributed to his solid foundation in drawing techniques. He graduated Suma Cum Laude with a major in Oil Painting from Shandong University of Arts. Lu’s art piece “Lady” in 1991 won a prestigious prize from Japan Artists Association. Lu’s second year’s work “Feng Bei” won the China Art Award and was added to the collection of the China National Museum. In 1994, a painting of his that took half a year to complete—“Mo Er” (the portrait of a girl who Lu named “a sense of loneliness”), won the Grand Prize of Chinese Oil Painting—the highest honor given to an art painting in China. “Mo Er” was also sold for the highest price in Chinese art history. Later he successfully entered the master class of the graduate program offered at China Central Academy of Fine Arts—the most prestigious institution of Chinese Oil Painting. During his study, his 1995 work “Big Red Robe” obtained the National Outstanding Award in Oil Painting. Lu’s other work “Yin Zan” was awarded with China National Art Exhibition Award of Excellence and was subsequently collected by Museum of Japan. In 1996 “Xuan Se”, an work that took a year to complete, obtained the Outstanding Award for Graduation Work from China Central Academy. Lu began his career as a professional artist the year that he graduates.
In 1995 Lu arrived to the United States with the delegation of Chinese artists. His first exhibition in the US in 1999 touched many; all twenty-six paintings were sold out on the first day. In 2000 he signed a contract with Weinstein Gallery and hosted his second exhibition; and once again his popular paintings were all sold out. According to a gallery manager who has dealt with art for more than twenty years, upon viewing his paintings he told Lu, “I have never seen a painting that would move me to tears, yours is the first”. In 2006 Lu reached a crucial milestone with the completion of an important art piece “Tian”. At the same time he issued a declaration on his art doctrine, a document proclaiming Lu’s new ideas and stands on Symmetrism Art. According to Lu, without symmetry, the world would fall into chaos: imagine a world where human beings have only an eye or an arm; a world where cars lack a wheel; a solar system with moon but no sun; and a season with neither winter nor spring. In essence, symmetry represents equilibrium and eternity that bestow balance and beauty to mankind. The internal tranquility brought upon by equilibrium permeates the humanity and warms the heart of men.
Now the boy who loves painting is all grown up; his lengthy scar appears smaller on his already developed cranium and handsome face—and one could only imagine how devastating it must be on a little face of a child. The Lu’s family currently resides in Danville, with his son just turning one. Lu’s growing journey as an realism artist was unquestionably perilous; it was a rocky process overlaid by persistent practice. For over more than twenty years Lu has been studying and conducting exhaustive scrutiny on numerous master artists. Since he has always been a scholar and is relatively isolated and shielded from the outside world, Lu’s oil paintings reflect such a phenomenon. His art work represents a crystal-clear stream in an impetuous world that calms the restlessness of men. Lu’s work is infused with the solemnity and dignity of the royalty, and from the tranquil equilibrium an unmatched power permeates through. From his oil painting brush comes the pureness and brilliance that immediately captures the hearts of many. Today, Lu’s drawing technique is unparalleled, his color usage one of a kind, his majestic façade breathtaking and mesmerizing; and through his works Lu bring for us the gift of simple beauty and an emotionally touching memory.