Crossing the Void: Laurent Martin "Lo"

I explore bamboo.
Its balance, lightness and flexibility
Its mathematics, poetry and sensuality.
I also work with the air and the light.
Laurent Martin “Lo”
10 Chancery Lane Gallery is proud to announce exclusive representation in the Asia-Pacific of bamboo sculptor Laurent Martin “Lo” with a solo exhibition in Hong Kong entitled “Crossing the Void” and as well as at Art Basel Spotlight art fair.

Laurent Martin “Lo” invites us into the world of bamboo. His lyrical mobile sculptures are like paintings in the air and his standing works are a concurrence of forces that create an impossibly delicate equilibrium. The forces of the wind sway the works to and fro and create shadows that dance upon the walls.

In this exhibition the gallery will present twelve new works, 7 mobiles and 5 standing works. The large Bamboo Soul hangs at 380 cm like a single stroke of curved simplicity. Another hanging work Smoke is a 2-meter swirl of wistful waves and curls funneling up into the sky. Crossing the Void, stands as a double elliptical window seesawing back and forth as if casting a fishing line. Gallery director Katie de Tilly states, “Lo’s work embraces the essence of all life as one. We experience his works through feeling rather than thinking. He is a truly committed artist who explores the depths of the natural material of bamboo with a skill that is both intuitive and mastered. Throughout the world craftsman work wonders with bamboo and “Lo” has elevated it to a contemporary art form of the highest distinction. And we feel his passion.”

Through years of observation and studying of this amazing plant, he has come to understand its multitude of possibilities. His creativity is thus born out of his learned skills and understanding of his material. His artistic palette is within the physical and sensorial virtues of bamboo: its very sophisticated organic structure, but also its energy and spirituality. Establishing an intimate dialogue with bamboo, “Lo” experiments with its flexibility, resistance, density, lightness, mathematics and poetry, a language that allows him to combine both tension and compression, creating sculptures based on movement and balance. His work seems to defy gravity and levitate. His structures swing, drawing curves and harmony in the air. Compositions that take over the space and establish a dialogue, where the space around the piece also becomes another defining element of the piece itself, pieces with a thousand different point of views.

With his subtle, yet strong gestures, tensions and counterweights, the artist tells about a fragile harmony that is achieved using opposites: flexibility and strength, fullness and void, light and shadow, movement and quietness, “Lo” invites the spectators to begin a personal dialogue with themselves looking for calm, serenity and the balance in nature.

“Lo” comments about Hong Kong solo exhibition, "What a joy it is to have the opportunity to exhibit my work in Hong Kong! Hong Kong is in the very heart of the bamboo lands that I have had the chance to travel to. I love Hong Kong for its energy and free inspiration. Hong Kong is flexible and strong, patient and spirited, poetic and technological and is, like bamboo, always in balance. This is what makes its magic. In each of the sculptures exhibited, through tension, flexion, counterweights, space, movement and light, I pursue this same quest for balance and harmony. I hope the viewers will feel this sensation."
Laurent Martin was born in France in 1955 and trained as a visual artist and worked as a creative director in advertising and fashion. “Lo’s” first encounter with bamboo was completely circumstantial, but as he recalls, “it was love at first sight”. Bamboo became his obsession and passion that set him on a journey of discovery, which he refers to as his Bamboo Routes. Since 2004, he has travelled to India, Southeast Asia and East Asia, as well as Latin America learning the mastery of bamboo as well as its spiritual potency. Laurent Martin “Lo” spends his time between his house-workshop in the Alt Empordà (Girona, Spain) and traveling to countries rich in bamboo. His workshop is an old factory which the artist himself has restored, and adapted to develop his art. Inside, against the walls, over the beams, one can see the different pieces of bamboo, together with those weirdly shaped tools, laid orderly near his “operating table”. Laurent Martin “Lo” is member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors and currently lives and works in Spain.