Catherine Lan: Melodies of Spring Blossom

Guanxinshe, Shanghai
March 8 - June 28, 2022

News Release                                       

Contact: Liu Chang

Manager of W.Ming Art

Melodies of Spring Blossom

March 8th, 2022, Shanghai, W.Ming and Guanxinshe are pleased to present Melodies of Spring Blossom, an exhibition of mixed media and two new videos by Catherine Lan (b. 1980) that have never been shown before. The presentation also marks the artist’s first exhibition in Shanghai since her solo show in Beijing.


Melodies of Spring Blossom includes works from her series on flowers, trees, nature using acrylic, pearlescent acrylic, iridescent acrylic glitter on faux fur between 2011–2018.  Lan has the most desired and multicultural art education one can have.  She was born in Taiwan and grew up in Australia.  For her undergraduate studies, she traveled far to Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts, and later received graduate studies at Ecole des beaux-Arts in Paris and at Yale University. While pursuing an artist career in New York City, Lan reflected deeply on what an artist could offer to others beyond art.  She eventually chose pursue a Doctoral of Education in College Teaching (Ed.D.C.T.) in Art and Art Education. At Yale, she studied under Peter Halley, a prominent American contemporary painter whose focus is on color and geometry.  Lan also focuses on color while working with unconventional materials like faux fur. While choosing a variety of natural pigments and industrial and fashion materials like faux fur to paint, she is challenging the traditional media of painting on canvas.


Living in Queens, Lan is deeply connected with the local communities where she lives, works, and contributes to the borough’s social activities and enrichment. At Queen’s Museum of Art and Queens Botanical Garden, she collaborated with local dancers and composer to perform In the Mist of Lights and Shades. She also performed Taiwan Spirit Updated at the NYC Central Park 50th Anniversary Performance Art Event. She choreographed a performance with her paintings on printed silk and children’s dance in the Vancouver Art Museum in Canada. 


When reflecting on the artist’s methodology and strategy, Lan stated:

   Globalization has contributed to an increased demand for goods and services, and contemporary art production in various parts of the world has also been impacted by this phenomenon. The increasing exposure to multiple cultures faced by artists induces them to create conceptually and aesthetically multiple forms of art that embrace spontaneously reconstructed identities and reward histories of cultural dispossession by valuing heritage. According to David Joselit (2020), Western modernism’s perpetual annihilation of preceding forms as a progressive aesthetic agenda devalues heritage as a living resource (p. 224). Artworks that maintain their cultural heritage can lead one to understand their potential function as a living resource for representing diverse experiences of contemporaneity and providing alternative ways to consider modernity and progressive aesthetic program (Document, Catherine Lan, 2022).


Thus, Lan positions herself as a global artist, a local artist, an agent “that participate in the broader dynamic of recolonization in attempts by developing nations to establish an equitable relationship with the West.”


Despite the globalization influence on the artist’s growth and experience, her ways of thinking and philosophy are deeply connected with her.  Lan’s newest multi-media videos represent a new trend in contemporary art that is instigated by the new cultural heritage. In Putting One’s Grain of Salt (2021), she exerts her Taiwanese native, Chinese language, Australian home, French concept, and American research/new home that are amalgamated by digitally composed music, a universal world language. The geometric shapes of salt collage differ from yet synchronize with the Western art modernist historical narrative. Guanyin (2021) depicts two flying musical accompaniments playing celestial music (originally 8 minutes composed by Angel Lam, edited with a voiceover by Catherine Lan) to depict the artists’ interpretations of this compassionate figure, Bodhisattva.


conjunction with the newest multi-media video work, Melodies of Spring Blossom shows a series of cut furry series to fuse the notion of drawing, painting, and sculpture (painting relief). Evident in her inventions of various cutting methods and registers, they are beautiful with controlled and detailed renderings that defy painting’s traditional notion of “adding”. Using fashion materials,  Lan is inspired by both the Eastern culture of expressionist ink painting and meticulous painting, landscape photography and Western Pop Art and interdisciplinary art.  The works allure the viewers to touch and interact with the furry materials, invite them to immerse into the vibrant colors and emancipate together with her into her mysterious worlds and fairytales. Characterized by interactive performativity, cosmos-like spaces, botanical imaginations, and philosophical orientations, her work reanimates a mixture of traditions where divergent cultural values are projected onto the same ensemble of images. They represent distillations from years of life experience that are directed globally and locally. Melodies of Spring Blossom is an exhibition representing the journey of an artist with a multi-cultural upbringing in phase with the globalized context of her times. She initiates a broader conversation about contemporary art and have a meaningful dialogue with the World.


The exhibition is curated by Xiaoming Zhang.  The exhibition is installed in a historical building Guanxinshe (Watch the Heart House) next to the old Lin Fengmian residence in the French concession on No. 49 Nanchang Road, Shanghai.  Works are installed in conjunction with classical Tibetan Thangkas and Chinese antiques, adding futurist coloring and new life to the objects from the past.


Reference: Joselit, D. (2020). Heritage and debt: Art in globalization. The MIT Press.







“春花乐”包含艺术家自2011年至2015年间利用丙烯(珠光丙烯/丙烯闪粉等)在人造毛皮上创作的关于花卉、树木等自然之物。出生于台湾,成长于澳大利亚,蓝巧茹自小的艺术教育遍布全球。本科时她远赴北京的中央美术学院,后又分别在巴黎高等美院和耶鲁大学继续深造。在纽约开启职业艺术生涯时,蓝巧茹开始反思作为艺术家,在艺术之外还能为他人提供什么。她最终选择了继续攻读艺术教育的博士学位。在耶鲁大学,她师从美国当代著名画家彼得·海利(Peter Halley),他的重点是色彩,蓝巧茹也专注于色彩,同时革新画布作为传统媒介,大胆使用非传统/工业材料进行创作,如人造毛皮、塑料等。


蓝巧茹与她生活和工作的地方社区有着深厚的联系。 她住在皇后区,也不断为皇后区的社会活动作出贡献。 她曾在皇后区艺术博物馆表演行为艺术,并在加拿大的温哥华编排了结合她丝绸绘画的儿童舞蹈的表演。




“全球化导致对商品和服务的需求增加,而世界各地的当代艺术也广泛受到这种现象的影响。浸润在多元文化中的艺术家们不断从概念性与美学性出发,推陈出新,创造出多元的艺术形式,重塑文化身份,并通过重拾传统来补偿文化被剥夺的历史。西方的现代主义作为不断进步的美学议程对先前形式的否定,实则贬低了‘传统’作为一种活化资源的功用(Joselit, p.224)。保留文化遗产的艺术作品可以引导人们理解其作为资源的潜在功能,此类作品呈现出当代的不同面向,并为现代性与进步美学提供新的视角。”

因此,蓝巧茹将自己同时定位为一个全球化/本土性艺术家,一个积极参与"发展中国家与西方更平等,更广泛的交流 "的能动者。


尽管全球化影响着艺术家的成长与生活,她却深深扎根于家乡。最新的多媒体影像作品一定程度代表了一种当代艺术在新文化传承下的新趋势。 在《放一粒盐》(2021)中,台湾/澳大利亚的本土性、汉语、法国观念以及美国研究通过音乐创作得以融合成为一种普世性的“世界语言”。“盐拼贴”的几何形状不同于西方艺术现代主义的历史叙事,但又巧妙地与之同步。《观音》(2021)则通过音乐合奏(最初8分钟版本由林安琪作曲,蓝巧茹负责编辑配音)来诠释艺术家对慈悲的观世音菩萨的尊敬。






About Catherine Lan

Catherine Lan is a multi-disciplinary artist with a specialization in mixed media art, painting, drawing, installation, and video. She is the recipient of Queens Council on the Arts Individual Artist Award, Yale University Andrea Frank Foundation Sanyu Scholarship Award, Teachers College Columbia University Myers Art Prize, and Arthur Zankel Urban Fellowship. She recently performed at the 50th Anniversary NYC Central Park Performance Art Event; exhibited at the NYFA Art Space, Queens Museum, and El Museo de Los Sures in New York. In Asia, she exhibited at Future of Today Art Museum in Beijing, Hexiangning Art Museum in Shenzhen, China, and most recently, at the Korean Society of Art and Media in Seoul.


She has been a teaching artist at the Center for Arts Education since 2011. Between 2017-2019, she was an art instructor for the Creative Technologies Summer Bootcamp for teachers’ professional development at Teachers College, Columbia University. Since 2019, she established LAN Art Studio (currently in Flushing) and has been conducting both in-person and online art teaching to all levels from K-12, graduate levels, to adults.


Her recent study is titled, Interior Art Learning Spaces: Where Inspiration Meets Creation: An Art Professional Leaders’ Survey, a paper she presented at AMPS Architecture Media Politics Society Conference at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ, and accepted for publication in 2020. Her doctoral research focuses on the flexible concept of “cutting” (which can be literally cutting with scissors and non-literally in the computer) as an artistic, metacognitive process, and aesthetic inquiry.


Currently an Ed.D.C.T doctoral candidate in the Art and Art Education program of Teachers College, Columbia University, she obtained MFA at Yale School of Art, Artist Diploma at École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and BFA at Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. 











About Guan Xinshe and W.Ming

W.Ming Art is a private art and cultural enterprise founded in 2010. W.Ming represents artists for exhibitions and sales and provides private sales and art advisory services for private and institutional clients globally. The company specializes in international modern and contemporary art and has placed works shown at leading arts institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and more. W.Ming has three office spaces: one in Beijing, one in Shanghai, and one in New York.

Guan Xinshe Classical Art (Nanchang No. 49) sits next to the old residence of Lin Fengmian (Nanchang No. 53, Shanghai).  Guanxinshe’s literary name is Watch the Heart House and has been at the current location for 6 years. Guan Xinshe was founded by Mr. Huang Wei. While showcasing classical art from Tibetan Thanghka, Buddhist Sculptures, Chinese antiquities, Mr. Huang hope to revive the local culture and art in Shanghai.  Mr. Huang also hopes to connect arts and culture with local history and communities and bring arts and culture to the heart of Shanghai, a cosmopolitan where flouring new museums focused on bringing international contents.





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