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By Shanna Fuld

An exhibit by Taiwanese artist Sophie Wen-Shuo Yen is bringing serenity and femininity to the Hwang Gallery high above the bustling streets of Flushing.

“We are extremely selective. You [the artist] can only be invited to do an exhibit, and there’s no charge for the artist to do the show,” John Hwang, gallery owner, said.

Hwang insists the artist give a lecture during the opening days of the exhibit. His interest in the artist even reaches to social levels. Hwang said he monitors the artist’s social groups and keeps an eye out to make sure their main purpose continues to be art.

“Is it art or merchandise?” Hwang questioned.

Hwang believes the most integral part is that the artists hang onto the originality and passion for creation that they came with.

The gallery has two collections by Yen: one that had been done about five years ago called “Color Temperature” and one that was recently finished, “Cutting Fragrance,” after she gave birth to her child.

With 22 works in the show, the connection between all the pieces are the colors used, the employment of mixed media, and the recurring motifs of blood, flowers and femininity.

The “Cutting Fragrance” collection showed larger works with great vibrant colors.

Yen is fascinated with seasons and often feels melancholy during autumn, and in the “Color Temperature” works oranges, reds, yellows and other warm autumn colors exaggerate the bittersweet feelings of the season, the gallery’s editorial assistant, B.J. Pang-Chieh, said.

The pieces are highly textured — mainly acrylic paintings on canvas with added floral cloths, dried acrylic paint, shiny paper and any other material she chooses. Yen oftentimes writes poems to match her works of art.

Each piece in the gallery has a short caption, often, a line from one of the poems. The poems can often be read erotically, but Yen says the eroticism is about her love for creation, leading to many of her pieces that embody femininity and birth.

Yen’s Cesarean section changed her views of life and so many pieces are infused with paint drippings to resemble blood. The drips continue all the way down the canvas’ because she actually tilted the pieces to get that effect.

“Spring Playing its Melodic Scales” is a piece showing a cherry blossom tree’s reflection in blue water. Its colors of deep blues and greens of the water are broken up with the dripping pinks and reds of the cherry blossoms and a slight bit of space to using yellow and white.

“A Bed” is probably the most intrusive and evocative piece, showing a large open flower and dripping yellow and red streams headed for the flower.

The deep contrast in the yellow and red is what makes the piece exceptional, not to mention the cloth flowers cut and placed in the center.

Yen’s show continues through Sunday.

If you Go

Sophie Wen-Shuo Yen

When: Through Sunday, June 28

Where: Hwang Gallery, 39-10 Main St., Third Floor, Flushing

Contact: (212) 225-8400

Website: www.hwanggallery.com

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