Yu Hong at the Chiesetta della Misericordia

This year, the Asian Art Initiative of the Guggenheim Museum has chosen the Chiesetta della Misericordia to present the first major exhibition in Europe of the contemporary artist Yu Hong entitled Yu Hong: Another One Bites the Dust.

The exhibition presents new figurative and narrative paintings that respond to the architectural and cultural context of the Chiesetta della Misericordia. The site-specific cycle of paintings depicts the arc of the human experience—birth, life, and death—and combines the raw crudeness of social reality with pictorial conventions drawn from Byzantine and Italian Baroque painting to forge a style that may be called “supernatural realism.” Yu Hong borrows images of people, mostly women and children, in writhing poses expressing mental anguish or imminent physical danger, both real and fantastical, from the internet and social media. Set against a gold ground and shaped as large tondos or arched panels, the figures presented in Another One Bites the Dust confront and upend the epic themes of sacred art while not shying away from the role of painting to portray the sorrows of the human condition.

"The themes of my paintings often focus on life, death and fate, which are somewhat in line with the themes of many religious paintings, so arches and gold have become the main visual elements of my exhibition."

 Yu Hong

The space, which the exhibition curator Alexandra Munroe and the artist strongly desired for the project, reinforces the significance of the works in their aspiration to an universal dimension. The dialogue between the works and the space is indeed very fluid and natural, as if Yu Hong's paintings had always been in this place.

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Yu hong Contemporary Art Exhibition Venice Biennale



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