The Loss of Human Face?
How have artists used the human face to reflect the truths behind the visage of humanity? The exhibition features twenty works, highlighting masterpieces by Francis Bacon in dialogue with contemporary artists Adrian Ghenie, Zeng Fanzhi, George Condo, and Yukimasa Ida. Igniting a conversation between the past and the present, the exhibition explores the significance of human faces as seen through the lens of these five artists. Within this context, the exhibition ultimately poses the question: are we still able to decipher the human face, when it is vanishing behind masks, disguising its expressions, and disappearing behind screens of this technological age?
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. Other names familiar to us all, Ghenie’s, Zeng’s, and Condo’s works are similarly impressive. However, the name to watch is definitely that of Yukimasa Ida (b. 1990), the youngest of the group, as this is the first presentation of his work in Hong Kong. His thickly-painted canvases employ a futurist perspective, and his particular approach of distorting figuration creates a sort of ambiguity and focus on performance.