Imaging Nature: An Australian-Chinese Perspective

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 June, 2006, 12:00am

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Tomorrow-Jul 8

At 70, Hong Kong-born Andrew Lo still makes a difference. Since retiring in 1996 as a lecturer and environmental economist at the University of Melbourne and University of New South Wales, the Sydney-based artist continues to work with conservation groups, eco-friendly organisations and government bodies. This work takes him to Australia's forests, where Lo finds much inspiration.

In Imaging Nature: An Australian-Chinese Perspective, Lo paints modernised Chinese paintings of Australia's natural beauty.

'I draw on the Chinese ink painting tradition to interpret the nature of Australia,' says Lo. 'With a ... Taoist approach, I try to be at one with nature. I make what is invisible, visible.'

Lo's artwork has been exhibited around the world, from Singapore and Taiwan to New York and Japan. The president of the Australian Chinese Painting Society learned to paint using the four treasures: the brush, ink stick, inkwell and paper. However, he has since incorporated acrylic and synthetic inks to compensate for the different lighting and colours of places not found in China, such as Dorrigo National Park, a World Heritage forest. 'Australia has a totally different vision. In this exhibition, I fused traditional ink and brush techniques with modern art materials and pigment to capture the beauty of Australia,' says Lo. He also exhibits calligraphic paintings.

To create art, Lo finds it necessary to connect with his subject. 'If you are close to the forests, waterfalls and oceans, they will be internalised with your own consciousness, and when you try to interpret them, wonderful images emerge.'

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