Arts and Culture
Laoshu perpetuates in his way the tradition of the Chinese scholar amateur painter by practicing painting and poetry in his leisure hours. The pictorial style of this self-taught artist, which can remind us of literati painting by the ink stroke and the theme of nature, differs from it by the linear perspective and the influence of photography. Through an appealing colorful painting and a free and casual poetry, Laoshu finds a space of freedom, a temporal and geographical escape which enables him to share his thoughts, his existential reflection, and to project himself into a time which makes him dream, the Republican period (1911-1949).
Professor of communication in a Peking university, he became famous thanks to his blog on the website Weibo, on which he publishes everyday a painting with a short poem. But what could be the connection with Europe of this work which seems to be a reinvention of tradition in line with our times, mainly geared towards a Chinese audience? This quest of cultural “authenticity” certainly earned him a part of his success in France, where he was published in October 2017 by Picquier and where it soon became a best-seller with 5000 copies sold to this day. The viewers and readers of Laoshu, indeed, are not only Chinese, but also French: I will analyze his creation, his discourse, as well as his role in the Chinese-French cultural exchanges in order to better understand this cultural phenomenon.