SOPHIE WEN-SHUO YEN (嚴玟鑠) SOLO EXHIBITION
Date: June 09, 2015 – June 28, 2015
Address: Hwang Gallery 39-10 Main Street, Suite 303,
Flushing, New York 11354
Artist Yen Wen-Shuo’s recent artistic endeavors have culminated in her new series, “Cutting Fragrance,” a series that examines the transformations of the artist’s body and the concomitant changes in her own life experiences. In Mandarin, the pronunciation of “Cutting Fragrance” is similar to “seppuku,” the Japanese suicide ritual of abdomen-cutting. It is a phonetic association that was deliberately made by the artist, as the image of the cutting of the abdomen recalls the artist’s own experiences embracing motherhood and nurturing the life of another human being in her abdomen. The scar left by her C-section as she birthed her child into this world looks like a gentle smile etched unto her belly. To the artist, it is a smile that marks a new stage in her life and new artistic directions for her to embark upon. The agony that accompanied the making of that scar has now sublimated into a stage of spiritual transcendence. The process of creation, both physical and artistic, may be painful at first, but after the cut, one can smell the fragrance seeping through, the blossom that bursts forth after so much toiling and pain.
The“Cutting Fragrance” series is primarily made from mixed media, with acrylic being the most prominent medium, followed by the application of fabric to her paintings. In terms of its leitmotif, “Cutting Fragrance” continues to explore the imagery of flowers, an imagery that has preoccupied the artists’ recent works. The word “Fragrance” also serves to reinforce the connections between flowers and the artist’s work.
In this series, Yen employs automatism techniques and uses the dripping of paint to evoke the bloody sight of abdomen-cutting.This imagery is used to convey the fragility, as well as the strength, of a person’s life. The whole series, “Cutting Fragrance,” is meant to express the connections between femininity and the vitality, as well as delicate grace, of flowers. Like motherhood,flowers carry within them a spirit of forbearance and tolerance that allows them to withstand the cruelties of winter and still bring forth great love and warmth when spring comes.