Espacio SOLO Madrid is currently hosting the most ambitious retrospective to date and first museum presentation by the artist, Mu Pan. The exhibition brings together over 20 works by this master of visual narrative, many of which have never been shown in Europe before, including his most recent work, Mu Pan’s Garden of Earthly Delights. Together with artwork by Mu Pan, the exhibition also showcases pieces by other contemporary artists such as Dustin Yellin, Dan Hernandez and Motohiro Hayakawa, as well as 19th century Japanese woodblock prints created by the ukiyo-e master, Utagawa Kuniyoshi.
“Mu Pan and Other Beasts” occupies three large rooms at Espacio SOLO, completely transformed to submerge the visitor in the artist’s universe, a unique place where every work transports us to unexpected territory, to worlds beyond reality. No wonder this artist is known as a “creator of worlds.” His paintings are genuine visual adventures, action-packed stories filled with exquisite detail, disparate blends of historical, literary, political and cultural references which illustrate the information overload characteristic of our times.
Through his art, Mu Pan invites us to reflect on the informative bombardment to which we are now exposed, a context where fake news merges with reality. He also questions concepts such as that of the “hero,” so widespread and yet intrinsically so ambiguous. His approach is critical and incisive but always with a hearty dose of humour and irony, clearly two of this artist’s trademarks.
Cultural mash-up, the story of today
Mu Pan (1976) was born in Taichung City, Taiwan, and emigrated to the USA in 1997. His artwork reflects a huge diversity of cultural influences, from classical Chinese literature to superheroes, ukiyo-e, cinema and comics.
To view one of Mu Pan’s painstakingly constructed battles is to step inside a world of action, dynamism and energy. His paintings possess a richness of detail reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch, with apocalyptic connotations, hybrid, caricature-like creatures that are half-human and half-animal, along with epic scenes that blend current affairs and manga.
Justice through drawing
Mu Pan’s work is an outlet for everything that bothers or enrages the artist: his paintings…