White on White: Reading Text in Visual Art (exhibition)

An image of two white gallery walls with a number of 3D Chinese lettering extruding from both of them

Booking information

Booking is not required

Contact information

LU Arts

This exhibition explores text art, which uses text in artworks and examines how written language works as a type of post-conceptual art.

Through various text-based artworks, the artist Lulu Ao aims to question the demands that text art places on its audience and the challenges a work of text art poses on the act of reading.

Most of the works in the exhibition are “deep white,” referring to Kazimir Malevich’s (1879-1935) Suprematist idea associated with his painting White on White (1918). Lulu agrees that white is the colour of infinity; it signifies a realm of higher feeling, a utopian world of pure form that was attainable only through non-objective art. On the other hand, according to Chinese Taoist philosophy, the white that can be discussed is not the true white, and the true White cannot be represented by the colour of white. Hence, it comes to Lulu’s oxymoronic term “deep white”. Nevertheless, some important contemporary artists explored this antithetical and paradoxical issue in their artistic practice, such as the New Yok-based conceptual artist Mark Tansey (1946-) in his painting White on White (1986). In Lulu’s current works, she wishes to affirm the importance of textuality in visual art by deconstructing the written words, and thus expose the antithetical and paradoxical significance of White.

Please note that the exhibition will not be open from Fri 7 - Tues 11 April (inclusive).


There is step-free access into the exhibition space via a ramp and side door. During opening hours, there will be an invigilator on duty in the gallery. If you require their assistance, then please alert them on arrival by calling to them or waving at them – the entrance of the gallery is fully glazed and the main entrance door should be open.

For more information about the venue, including photographs, view the access guide for Martin Hall on AccessAble.

If you have any specific access requirements then please contact luarts@lboro.ac.uk in advance of your visit and we will do our best to accommodate them.


There are toilets located on the ground floor of Martin Hall including an accessible toilet. 

Martin Hall Cafe serves light refreshments and is open from 8.30am to 5pm Mon-Fri. It is located behind the gallery.

There is free car parking on campus (subject to availability on the day) and the nearest car park is Car Park 9. Please report to Security at the main entrance and they will issue a visitors pass and direct you to here. 

If you are travelling by public transport, you can take the Sprint Bus from Loughborough railway station or the town centre (Ashby Square) and alight at Loughborough College. Cross Epinal Way at the pedestrian crossing and keep going straight ahead to enter campus. This brings you onto Shirley Pearce Square with Martin Hall on the left. 

View the full Sprint Bus timetable.