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Love Me Tender

Artist news

Shuo Hao

From April 13 to May 27, 2023

Derouillon Gallery

13, rue Turbigo — 75002 Paris

+33 (0)9 80 62 92 65

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Press release

The magus Virgil has, according to a medieval legend, invented a lion-automaton capable of detecting the lies of those who would venture to put their hand in his mouth, especially adulterous women to whom he would cut off his fingers. The legend of the Bocca della Verità is taken up by Cranach the Elder as an illustration of the vile game of love.
A woman accused of infidelity by her jealous husband is brought before a lion, embodying the Mouth of Truth, to be questioned in the presence of witnesses. Having disguised her lover as a madman and letting herself be touched by him in front of the whole assembly, she swears without lying that no one, except her husband and this madman, has ever touched her. Thus she withdraws her hand from the lion’s mouth, safe and sound.

Shuo Hao offers in “Love Me Tender” a more ambiguous and complex version of the Mouth of Truth. To the Western dualism that opposes and hierarchizes, she prefers to think two complementary parts of a whole, a yin and yang between the beast and the human. We no longer try to find out who is lying, who to punish, but we are talking from the wound and exploring the ambiguities inherent in this love story. Shuo Hao leads us into a fierce embrace where we no longer discern the bodies, only the forces of the relationship, making the title of the exhibition sound with a touch of irony.

Where does care join violence? For Shuo Hao, violence and tenderness are the other sides of the same coin. The hints of red of his paintings highlight the constant threat of suffering in these romantic relationships. The open mouths surrounded by red encircle faces that seem to snuggle in them, the border of blood vanishes in a warm breath. Among the red lacerations, a scarlet hand emerges that becomes a haunting presence. The faulty hand submitted to the mouth of the lion would give way to that of the painter, assertive and central. Shuo Hao’s touch is also in this series more visible and instinctive, wanting to paint as a lion devours its prey. If the figurative bodies are troubled or even disappear, it is to leave us in the direct presence of the embodied gesture because “the painter brings his own body”. (Paul Valéry)

Marion Coindeau

My ears are white shells
My eyes are black grapes
My heart is a red rabbit
Bouncing on the plate
You had a wonderful dinner

After midnight
My body will grow back again
Every day
I offer you different dishes

A new menu for tomorrow:
My arms will be wings
Flying in your body
Just to embrace your heart

Shuo Hao