Sunlight, Air and Water: Ruo-Hsin Wu

Press release

Cuturi Gallery is delighted to present Sunlight, Air and Water, a solo exhibition by Taiwanese artist Ruo-Hsin Wu (b.1993, Taiwan).  In this new series of works, the artist presents 8 new paintings which explore different moments of her childhood that have marked her through to adulthood.  Through her paintings she conveys her emotions of grief, sadness, and hope. 


All paintings start from an imaginary character from childhood memories. Ruo speaks of childhood as an important period in human life, where experiences shape personalities and who we end up being. The artists shares that “as children we are innocent, we have feelings of excitement that we no longer feel as adults. It is also a time where we can experience traumatic experiences that live with us forever. I use painting to reflect on some of these experiences”.


Always set in dark backgrounds, each character is painted using her fingers instead of a brush. Ruo mentions that “By mixing my own colours and using my fingers, I am able to achieve a translucid effect for my characters. This, coupled with the dark background creates light out of the darkness”. In addition to the skin tone, the artist emphasizes her characters’ eyes. “I want them to feel alive, but in a very subtle way. I want my characters to hide their emotions, to be hard to read; to engage and provoke the audience”.


The title of the exhibition derives from a painting called Sunlight, Air and Water. In difficult periods of her life, she took refuge in nature. “When in grief or pain, I often wondered as a child, why my life could not rely simply on basic needs, like the needs of plants. All they need is sunlight, air and water…”. In this painting, the artist paints one of her characters holding what looks like a pet box. Inside is a body lying on the grass, in total symbiosis with the natural world.


A second painting, Lizard, speaks to another childhood memory.  “I was once holding a lizard I found at my school, and a group of other kids just took it from me. They played with it and killed it. I was very traumatized by this experience and felt a strong feeling of guilt. What if I had not found that lizard…” The lizard has now become a common animal depicted in Ruo’s practice; her way of paying homage to this small animal.


Sunlight, Air and Water will be on view at Cuturi Gallery from 12 to 27 March 2022.


Exhibition Catalogue

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