Whisper Open Studio - Wen Wu

27 Sep 2008 – 30 Sep 2008


Travel Information

  • Nearest bus station is Shudhill Exchange and Piccadilly Gardens is 5min walk
  • Nearest station is Victoria and Piccadilly is only 10min walk away

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Wen Wu is a London-based painter interested in beauty and the constructs of beauty. Inspired by the late 19th century portraits of Bosie (Lord Alfred Douglas), Oscar Wilde's gay lover, Wu has moved on from reflections on the feminine ideal to portrayals of beautiful men. Her latest works play on notions of pure aestheticism and sexual taboo in their exploration of the Greek myth of Ganymede, said to have been the lover of Zeus. From ancient times through to the Baroque, Ganymede was depicted as a beautiful young man enraptured by an eagle (Zeus), as well as frequently being represented as a hermaphrodite. Wen Wu creates oil paintings of Ganymede on wooden shapes, which nestle into the space like fragments of a fresco. The works are impossible to determine as of their time, as they mimic historical portraiture and the nude, with paint dripped irreverently over the finely painted images. During her Whisper residency at the Chinese Arts Centre, Wu — who was born and educated in Qingdao, China - will further develop works visualising a seductive yet indefinable sexuality for a First Step exhibition at the centre in January 2009.

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