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A Wonderful Day, 2018
Acrylic on panel
61 x 122 cm

Mu Pan's Garden of Earthly Delights, 2019
Acrylic on panel
122 x 368 cm

Description: A Wonderful Day by Mu Pan sees the Genesis story reimagined as a frenzied battle scene in which an invading army of colourful monkeys fights for control of paradise. Primates are a recurring feature of the artist’s work, used as a visual substitute to portray aspects of human nature. In this painting they form a violent horde, which ravages the Garden of Eden.
The vibrant colour palette and absence of linear perspective reflect the artist’s interest in Persian and Indian miniatures, while the arrows and pikes add dynamism to the scene. Characteristically, Mu Pan blends narrative and social critique: in this case, Adam and Eve are forced to flee while a band of cute mice take advantage of the carnage.

Mu Pan’s Garden of Earthly Delights is viewed by the artist as a retrospective of 20 years’ work contained within a single painting. Visual ingredients common to many of Mu Pan’s narratives — from monkeys and turtles to hybrid Yakuza-sharks — appear in this triptych, which turns Bosch’s masterpiece into a profoundly personal tale.
Cultural mash-up is a staple of Mu Pan’s art and, in this case, Christian imagery from The Book of Revelation is combined with Buddhist stories and references to historical figures. Witty allusions to Bosch’s original include anthropomorphic fruits and the central circuit reimagined as a Chinese round-table banquet. Mu Pan turns a critical eye to the present too, with environmental destruction expressed in the melting ice caps of the left-hand panel

Biography: The Asian American artist, Mu Pan (Taichung City, Taiwan, 1976), has made cultural mash-up one of his trademarks. A wealth of different influences feed into his paintings, from classical Chinese literature or Japanese ukiyo-e prints to manga, martial arts films and current affairs. His artworks are layered narratives, personal reflections on human behaviour in which humour and violence often coincide.

Mu Pan trained at art school in Taiwan before moving to the USA in 1997, where he attended the School of Visual Arts in New York. He has held solo presentations in Paris, Copenhagen and New York and featured in group exhibitions at the Halle Saint Pierre Museum, Paris (France) and the Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts (USA). His first individual museum show was held at Espacio SOLO, Madrid in 2019.

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