Oscar Yi Hou, Sayonara, Suzie Wongs, aka: Out the Opium Den, 2022 - Edition 1/25; Hand-Embellished, Signed, and Numbered Limited Edition Print
Oscar yi Hou explores queer subjectivity, relation, language, East Asian iconography and symbolism in vivid paintings and drawings that straddle multiple worlds. Born in Liverpool and currently based in New York City, the artist considers his practice to be an original take on the “Three Perfections” of traditional Chinese art—painting, calligraphy and poetry. A recent recipient of the UOVO Prize as well as a BFA in Fine Art from Columbia University, yi Hou is a current artist-in-residence at the 4 World Trade Center, as part of the Silver Art Projects studio program. In October 2022, his work will be the subject of a solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum as supported by UOVO.
Sayonara, Suzie Wongs, aka: Out the Opium Den references the fictional character famously played by actress Nancy Kwan, in a 1960 film centered on a romance that unfolds in a red light district of Hong Kong. In yi Hou’s painting, however, two women figures take the place of the titular movie’s heteronormative protagonists. One character drapes her hand on the other’s shoulder, in a scene tinged with homoerotic sensuality. Surrounding the duo are various images that emblemize East Asian philosophic culture, in a nod towards the artist’s personal heritage. Yi Hou will additionally hand-embellish the prints with acrylic paint.
Of this special fundraising series, the artist notes, “I’m so grateful to the Brooklyn Museum for awarding me the UOVO Artist Prize, and for providing me with the opportunity to exhibit there later this fall. As such, to be able to give back and to support the museum is fantastic.”
Of the total net proceeds from sales of this limited edition of hand-embellished prints, $500 from each edition sold will be donated to the Brooklyn Museum and, as with all ART FOR CHANGE initiatives, the artist receives 50%.
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