Renowned Chinese artist Lv Shanchuan recently launched his first solo exhibition ‘Spectacle’ in Hong Kong, showcasing 7 oil paintings on canvas from his most recent Agora series.


‘Admiralty’ | Oil on Canvas | Photography by Christy Chin

Lv graduated from the department of Oil Painting at Central Academy of Fine Art in 1997. Since his return from advanced studies in Germany in 2005, the Beijing-based artist has taken his works onto major regional and international events, which he appropriates for re-creation.


‘Paris’ (Close Up) | Oil on Canvas | Photography by Christy Chin

Agora, the Greek word for ‘square’, is the major theme Lv aims to explore in this exhibition. The undertone of grief helps the artist to continue his previous exploration of how political and social ideologies shape different relationships within today’s societies.


‘Rome’ | Oil on Canvas | Photography by Christy Chin


‘Rome’ (Close Up) | Oil on Canvas | Photography by Christy Chin

Layer by layer, the artist recreates events of the past and present with thick oil paint on canvases. When viewed up close, the perception obtained by audiences is a sense of chaos, yet when viewed from afar, there is spectacular order and reasoning behind all this imminent mess, making it the core driver of the paintings.

Night View

‘Night View’ | Oil on Canvas | Photography by Christy Chin


‘Great Hall’ (Close Up) | Oil on Canvas | Photography by Christy Chin

The word ‘spectacle’ emerges from a wide range of fields: from art to philosophy, aesthetics, history and sociology. Lv Shanchuan’s works are mostly related to the philosophical literature ‘Society of the Spectacle’ written by French theorist Guy Debord, where he claims that society has transitioned from a material society to a great mass of spectacles. A society where illusions have replaced true interactions between people, emphasising at the moment the ‘spectacle’ is the reality.

Shwedagon Pagoda

‘Shwedagon Pagoda’ | Oil on Canvas | Photography by Christy Chin

According to Chinese art critic He Guiyan, Lv Shanchuan constructs his array of masterpieces’ by decoding and reorganising images from the news into new social landscapes;

“In the specific act of creation, Lv Shanchuan does not directly set out to reproduce these news images, or even engage in the simple representation of them. To the contrary, he bestows them with new ‘encoding’. The process of ‘encoding’ manifests not only in the subjective formal language of expression, but more importantly in how the defamiliarizing rendering turns the original scene into a new social spectacle.”


‘Great Hall’ (Close Up) | Oil on Canvas | Photography by Christy Chin

With each piece of artwork weighing up to a hundred pounds, the artist presents his interpretation of contemporary society right in front of our eyes.


‘Spectacles’ by Lv Shanchuan | Photography by Christy Chin

The exhibition is held at Contemporary by Angela Li from now to 2nd of July. The address is: Contemporary by Angela Li, 248 Hollywood Rd, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong.

Written by Christy Chin

Edited by Christina Wright


Contemporary by Angela Li (2016) Spectacle – Lv ShanChuan [Online] Available at [Accessed 22/06/16]

Hong Kong Gallery Guide (2016) Lv ShanChuan [Online] Available at [Accessed 22/06/16]