Lalan Art Gallery
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Danse du Qigong
Bornes les Mimosas, 1995

This is the Lalan that is revealed in her finest works; a wellspring of talent and skill, attributes which lie partially concealed behind the often subtly discrete first appearance of her art. Lalan, nominated Chevalier dans l’ordre des arts et des lettres by the French Ministry of Culture in 1975, enjoyed numerous successful exhibitions in her lifetime and works by the artist are now in the collections of the Musée d’art moderne, the French National Contemporary Art Fund, the Regional Contemporay Art Fund, several cultural centers in France, the Society of Music Writers and Composers, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and numerous galleries and private collections around the world. Yet despite this, she fell prey to her own modesty and much of her achievement remains little known. By temperament she shied away from the type of self-promotion which the dictates of the late twentieth-century art world often require. On her frequent trips to China in later life, she dedicated her energies to the promotion of Franco-Chinese cultural exchanges, rather than the publicisation of her own work, while in Europe, she turned her back on the “exaggerated ego” she observed in so many western artists.

Lalan had a profound humility, referring even to a sense of “shame”, which she saw as a prominent aspect of the Chinese temperament: “our education is so closed, so shut in, that it prevents us from asserting ourselves.” In 1980, she admitted, “In truth, I am not that interested in my career. My only passion is my work.”

Sophy Thompson
   
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