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The Loss of Human Face?

Exhibition details

Opening / Event Date:
2 June, 2022
11:00 am - 7:00 pm
Closing / End Date:
30 November, 2022
Event Category:
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(By Appointment only)

Throughout art history, from the works of Rembrandt to Modigliani, Van Gogh and Freud, the human face has long been both a source of attraction and repulsion, an expression of humanity and fraternity but also portrayed with primitive violence and savagery. Across all its figurative and abstract representations, the portrait has been used as a mirror to the world.

Igniting a conversation between the past and the present, The Loss of Human Face? explores the significance of human faces as seen through these five artists Francis Bacon, Adrian Ghenie, Zeng Fanzhi, George Condo, and Yukimasa Ida. Showcasing twenty major works in a transformed gallery space, visitors will be confronted with the bold canvases of these artists displayed in dialogue with each other. As one of the most influential portrait painters of the early 20th century, Francis Bacon sets the scene for the exhibition as his raw and unsettling canvases distort his subject’s faces while unveiling their inner psychologies. Ghenie’s portraits are likewise contorted in gestural brushstrokes to reexamine our collective history and memory, while works from Zeng’s ‘Mask’ series depict the social tensions and anxieties the artist observed in modern China. Conversely, Condo’s characters are rendered flat on the picture plane in grotesque and whimsical configurations, and Ida’s thickly painted canvases continue the historic medium with a futurist perspective. This exhibition will also be the first presentation of Ida’s work in Hong Kong. All these artists bring their contribution to the global understanding of what humanity means. Through their diversity and varied backgrounds, they reveal the intense rage, anxiety, passion, and ambition of our current time through their own unique visions.


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