New exhibit blends personal history, myth and animal heads

Roselina Hung's Snakes and Ladders

Roselina Hung’s Snakes and Ladders (Orpheus & Eurydice).

Roselina Hung’s exhibit at Initial Gallery will strike a chord with people who like their art with a pop-art, postmodern sensibility.

For her new series Of Myth and Men, the Vancouver artist draws on her own personal history by inserting herself into scenes evoking Greek myth and even the Old Testament. Joining Hung in the paintings are other figures, meant to represent people in her life. But, to add a further element of absurdity to the tableaux, most of the figures are male – and wearing animal masks.

The result is a series of thought-provoking images that are also eye-popping. The paintings not only draw on stories from the collective unconscious, but they also bring together disparate aesthetic elements – pools of black, patterns that at first look like they have been applied rather than painted, backgrounds featuring cloudy skyscapes and tilted horizon lines, realistic human figures with animal heads. On first glance, the oil paintings – on canvas and wood – look like collage.

In her artist’s statement for the show, Hung has said, “these paintings borrow from and offer a retelling of mythologies while reflecting on Hung’s own experiences. The protagonists and antagonists in myths are not always clear as multiple interpretations of the stories exist. The stories we tell ourselves are often to make us feel better about situations we felt we have no control over.Of Myth and Men asks the viewer to consider how we, like the Ancients’ use of mythology, create stories to understand important events in our lives.”

Roselina Hung's The Seduction of Samson.

Roselina Hung’s The Seduction of Samson.

Of Myth and Men is at Initial Gallery (2339 Granville St.) June 19-July 5. The opening reception is from 6 – 8 p.m. June 19. Hung will give an artist talk June 21 at 2 p.m.

Roselina Hung’s work has shown internationally, including London, Rekjavik, and Toronto. She has an MA Fine Art from Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, London, UK, and a BFA from the University of British Columbia. She also spent one year on exchange at L’Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France. She has taught at Central Saint Martins and attended residencies at The Banff Centre, Ox-Bow School of Arts and SÍM Reykjavik. To find out more about the artist visit

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