Incense ash on linen
250 x 400 cm
Huan's Young Mother is from a series of work made from incense ash. Huan collected the soot regularly from temples; a laboriously involved process of weekly gathering and sorting, isolating the substance into the indexical categories of texture and pigmentation which he used to '‘paint' his images. This medium has multiple significations: it is the actual substance of prayers, the dust of death and rebirth, the allegorical weight of spirits. Emitting an overwhelming scent throughout the gallery space these pieces recycle the hopes and wishes of others, sharing a cathartic ambience of cleansing and purity. In Young Mother, the ash is used to portray anonymous woman, her humble and demur demeanour is reminiscent of depictions of the Madonna.