Owen Fu


    Owen Fu (b. 1988, Guilin, China) currently lives and works in Los Angeles. In 2018, he completed his MFA at the ArtCenter College of Design. In 2016, he received one BA in Philosophy from the Stony Brook University and the other BA in Fine Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago respectively.

    Owen Fu’s practice is never a specific image, it is more like a hybrid being of emotions, desires and a complicated incarnation of realities that beneath the superficial ordinary life. Behind the image is a void without a face, but full of imaginations and illusions within the bean eyes, in which sensual sentiments, emptiness, joy and sorrow drift around.

    Owen’s works are part of the permanent collections of institutions worldwide, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles, US; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, US; the Domus Collection, New York, US; the K11 Art Foundation, Hong Kong, China; the START Museum, Shanghai, China; the George Economou Collection, Athens, Greece; the Aïshti Foundation, Beirut, Lebanon; and the Juan and Patricia Vergez Collection, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and among others.

    Selected solo exhibitions: Last Summer, Balice Hertling, Paris, France (2023); Stealing Beauty, Antenna Space, Shanghai, China (2022); Ordinary Things, O-Town House, Los Angeles, US (2022); After Hours, Balice Hertling, Paris, France (2021); 6 self-portraits and one lamp, Gallery Platform LA, Los Angeles, US (2020); Bubbly Hills, Mine Project, Hong Kong, China (2020); Small Talk, O-Town House, Los Angeles, US (2020); No Story, Art Center Main Gallery, Los Angeles, US (2018); Body Obsession, Art Center PPR, Pasadena, US (2018); Emoji Expression, New York Art Expo, New York, US (2016) among others.

    Selected group exhibitions: Horizons: Is there anybody out there?, curated by Robin Peckham, Antenna Space, Shanghai, China (2023); Together in Time: Selections from the Hammer Contemporary Collection, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, US (2023); Uncanny Valley, Gagosian Hong Kong, China (2023); Beijing Biennial – Magic Square: Art and Literature in Mirror Image, Friendship Art Community, Beijing, China (2022); Exposition N°120 (maybe), Balice Hertling, Paris, France (2022); The exhibition formerly known as “trace image”, Deborah Schamoni hosting O-Town House, Munich, Germany (2022); Space, Laurel Gitlen, New York, US (2022); Diving Deep for Light into Darkness, Beiqiu Museum of Contemporary Art, Nanjing, China (2022); The Going Away Present, Kristina Kite Gallery, Los Angeles, US (2021); Who’s Afraid of the Great Indoors, Redling Fine Art, Los Angeles, US (2021); Pathologically Social, organized with Mark Verabioff, O-Town House, Los Angeles, US (2021); Winterfest, curated by Saim Demircan, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, US (2020); Gennariello (part II), curated by Daniele Balice, Balice Hertling, Paris, France (2020); About FACE: Cover Me, Gallery Platform LA, Los Angeles, US (2020); Platform: Los Angeles, David Zwirner X Gallery Platform LA – online (2020); Condo Complex: Lomex Gallery hosting O-town House, Lomex Gallery, New York, US (2019); Just Edging 2, Art Center college of Design, Pasadena, US (2018) among others.






    • Owen Fu: The Geisttiere Dwell in the Void | LEAP – Words: Ren Yue / Translated by Kevin Wu

      To some extent, these personified figural elements of Fu’s paintings are “creatures that sprung from feelings” or, simply, “geisttiere (mind/spirit-animals).” They never wait in lines to be painted and seen; instead, they conceal themselves within a temporality that manifests no distinctions between the artist and the viewers, wandering like crepuscular shadows that just got separated from their owners. Of course, it is still possible to converse with them or even caress them-if you also happen to be doleful enough. When mingling with these geisttiere, Owen Fu employs varied linework as a vocabulary for chitchats. In his small-size paintings, a vase, or a teapot could become animated by charcoal lines and metamorphize into amicable or cunning avatars. These lines carry no intention to reify anything into concrete figures, yet it is within their “aimlessness” and “inaccuracies” that the transmutations of emotions take place: the painter casts the line with no particular aim, and his subjects willingly leap out of his memories and psyche to land onto the canvas. These “voluntary catches” are fragments of the artist’s genuine lived experience. Language is always inadequate:; the passing and accumulation of time blur certain experiences and reactions, but as the imprecisions manifest in the painting, they also create space for reinterpretations and evolve the artist’s initial feelings.

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