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Steve Lu with Zhang Daqian (1963)

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Steve Lu, a well-known classical and experimental Chinese artist, resides in Singapore. He was born at the turn of the last century in Jiangsu Province, China.

Lu started his artistic journey when he was only four years old by first learning calligraphy. This formed the foundation of his famous brushstrokes that are important in both calligraphy as well as in paintings of human figures, animals, flowers and landscape.

His works had been complimented by great artists such as Yu Yow Ren, Chang Dai-chien (Zhang Daqian), Liu Haisu and Pu Ru. Lu was a student of both Zhang Daqian and Pu Ru.

Left: Zhang gave this photo to Lu in 1963

A versatile artist, Lu has evolved a style of painting of his own, characterized by agility and vitality. His masterpieces include:

  • Traditional Chinese maiden figures and famous classical and legendary characters.

  • Religious icons - Buddha, Guanyin and mythical beings such as the Eight Immortals.

  • Animals - energetic horses, majestic tigers, imperial dragons, mischievous monkeys.

  • Flora - sublime bamboos, royal peonies and mystical orchids.

  • Serene Chinese landscapes.

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He perfected skills and techniques of Chinese calligraphy ranging from formal styles to creative free styles. Lu is known for his seal carving for various leaders and heads of state such as HM Queen Elizabeth, the former US President Ronald Reagan, and the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr. Kurt Waldheim.

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Painting the majestic dragon

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Calligraphy in motion

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Lu also has several published works:

  • Face Painting in Chinese Opera (1968), Lu's coffee table book on the symbolism of face painting.

  • Illustrations for the Malay edition of The Good Earth (1963).

  • Practical Art Design (1956), a book for beginners to encourage their studies of art.

  • Folk Painting Album (1951), a bound volume of cartoons originally published in the Chinese Folk Painting Magazine in Formosa, now Taiwan.

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Steve Lu on Wikipedia

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