For Frieze London 2021, Empty Gallery will present works by sculptural artist Jes Fan and emerging painter Henry Shum.
Fan’s ongoing Diagrams sculpture series features partial body-molded pieces of aqua resin covered in patches of color alluding to medical depictions of the epidermis, overlaid with hand-blown glass globules. These works continue Fan’s inquiry into what forms belie the body part that determines the majority of differences in human skin colors, and suggests that living beings are not bound entirely by the form of the skin.
Shum will present new oil paintings created in his home/studio in Tai Po. Building on his exploration of allegory, symbolism and spirituality in his recent exhibition Vortices, Shum will extend his unique approach of wielding oil paint in an ink-like fashion, rendering elements from spiritual and mythological imagery in translucent, dripping layers. Shum’s material experimentation and dynamic approach to a familiar medium results in surreal, large-scale compositions at once dream-like and restrained.
The works of Shum and Fan involve the iterative layering of materials to dissolve unquestioned binaries, whether it be the collapsing of interior and exterior spaces in Shum’s paintings or the questioning of race and gender in Fan’s pieces.