East Meets West, Revelation Meets Liberation in Purely Feminine, Jubilant Aesthetic
by Viviana Puello
One of America’s most pre-eminent, influential, and collected Chinese-born figurative art personalities, master artist Jia Lu has created a famously indelible body of work expressively brimming with flawlessly pure, essential beauty in all its splendor, harmony, luminosity, and metaphysical connotations. Powerfully yet graciously representational and emblematically steeped in the vast traditions of both Christian and Eastern mysticism, Jia Lu’s transcending fine art elicits in the viewer the natural benevolence to reflect inwardly, fostering a Zen- (or Chan-) like state of mind and way of being tributary to spiritual awakening, compassion, and wholeness through a meaningful aesthetic – “I am not trying to shock or appall my viewers but to calm them.”Consistent with Tibetan Buddhist symbolism and canons (i.e., the three marks of existence – impermanence or transient existence, suffering, and non-self), Jia Lu’s idiosyncratic artistic vision quintessentially nurtures and advocates the perfection of insight in the triple marks of existence through eidetic imagery, finessed to attain a heightened sense of completeness, sheer serenity, and full illumination via an art-inspired epiphany – “I want to paint beings who have freed themselves from the cycle of life and death, who are free from joy and tragedy, partings and reunions, or in search of freedom from these things.” According to Buddhist precepts, reaching a superior, sacred level of awareness where there is “no aging, no death, and no end to aging and death” annihilates suffering (dukkha) and leads to liberation (nirvana).
Drawing a parallel between Buddha sitting beneath the Tree of Enlightenment and consumers immersing themselves in her art’s distinctively healing, inspiring, gratifying, and especially enlightening powers, Jia Lu anatomizes the relation between the individual and the almighty Universe and seeks to awaken the viewer’s consciousness and connectedness to nature through liberation from the samsara (the repeating cycle of birth, life, and death) – “The women in my paintings are fearless, for they hold their fates in their own hands and embody human and divine qualities, they look beyond life and death,” master artist Jia Lu placidly states in her book “Illuminated: Figurative Art by Jia Lu.”