Melding historical and literary references with poignant personal experiences, Cole Lu’s work tells stories of dissonance and longing through twirling odysseys of ancient mythologies that carry the echoes of trauma, transformation, and regeneration. His sculptures and paintings are made of burnt wood panels, linen, engraved metal, and concrete, with elaborate scenes of a mythological retelling. Through pyrography (writing with fire) and the use of extensive and subversive titles for his works, Lu returns to the poetic origins of storytelling that liberate his work from established linear hierarchies of thought and form. The profound meditative and laborious repetition of his burning spans greatly in scale, from intimate to immersive, and allows Lu to build worlds where mythological and autobiographical come together and are thus reborn.
Cole Lu (b. 1984, Taipei, Taiwan) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. His work has been exhibited at Chapter NY; New York; Herald St; London; Nir Altman, Munich; Company Gallery; New York; The Drawing Center, New York; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis; La Casa Encendida, Madrid; and the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, St. Louis, among others. His writing has appeared in Coffee House Press, Minneapolis; WONDER; and The Seventh Wave, New York. His publication Smells Like Content (Endless Editions, 2015) is in the artists’ book collection of the Museum of Modern Art Library. In October 2023, the artist’s new publication, First Pylon by Inpatient Press, will be launched at Mast Books, New York.