Chinese avant

Chinese contemporary artist Yue Minjun recently unveiled in Seoul paintings he created during the pandemic that break away from his signature style. Starting in the 1990s, his paintings have earned him the titles "cynical realism painter" and "Chinese avant-garde artist."

Tang Contemporary Art in Seoul is showcasing 24 paintings for a solo exhibition by Yue featuring both older and more recent works. His more recent works consist of the flower series -- paintings depicting people with flowers or other plant life covering their faces.

Notable among the newer works is "Tuberous Begonia,” which shows a red flower blooming on a woman’s face. The woman is assumed to be Yue's wife, who rarely appears in the artist's paintings. The flower is reminiscent of face masks that people were forced to wear when COVID-19 spread rapidly around the world.