Jewel of Impermanence I
2020
Oil on panel
22x30cm

Through a reconfiguration of formal languages drawn from an array of visual and literary sources in history, Mengyun Han’s paintings reflect a form of translation, between text and image, the depicted and the imagined, the self and the cosmos, the mundane and the spiritual, suffering and emancipation. The pandemic prompted her to look at the meaning of life and death, the eternal themes that characterise her painting series Jewels of Impermanence. This body of work situates itself on the convergence of Buddhist reflection on impermanence and the 17th century Vanitas paintings in the Netherlands, probing the fragility of life and our existential emptiness.


Employing traditional Indian woodblocks for textile-making on to her canvas, Han has turned this craft into a painterly gesture by embracing material incompatibility. Her interest in Islamic illustrated manuscript is reflected in the formal dialogue between the ornamented frame and the subject within. The diptych composition is reminiscent of the book form, inviting one to read an image and see a word. Han’s eclectic vocabulary is rooted in the hybridity of her cultural experience and interest in the lineage of art-making in history beyond borders. Han regards painting in the same way Mallarmé envisions the book, where the world exists and ends.

Jewel of Impermanence II
2020
Oil on panel
22x30cm
Play with me
2020
Oil on panel
30x40cm
Entanglement
2020
Oil on panel
30x40cm
Leda and the Swan
2020
Oil on panel
30x40cm
To Give Birth to Hell
2020
Oil on panel
30x40cm
Guardian of Time
2020
Oil on panel
30x40cm
Jewels of Impermanence - Jewel in Flight
2020
Oil on panel
22x30cm
Spring Besieged
2020
Oil on panel
15x20cm
Tribute to Sanyu
2020
Oil on panel
15x20cm
Rose in Abandonment
2020
Oil on panel
15x20cm
Time
2020
Oil on canvas
140x210cm
Whence things have their origin
2020
Oil on canvas
150x210cm
Whence things have their origin
2020
Oil on canvas
each 150x210cm
Fleur du Mal
2020
Oil and acrylics on canvas
150x210cm
Kāma
2020
Oil on canvas
150x210cm
Ornamented Worship
2020
Ink and oil on canvas
150x210cm
Saṃsāra II
2020
Oil and ink on canvas
140x210cm
Saṃsāra II
2020
Oil and ink on canvas
each 140x210cm
Smothered
2020
Oil on canvas
150x210cm
Nirvāṇa
2020
Ink and gilding on canvas
140x210cm
Samsara I
2020
Oil on canvas
each 150x210cm
L'origine du Monde
2020
Oil on canvas
140x210cm, 45x210cm, 140x210cm
Persian Lovers
2020
oil on canvas
45x210cm
Sarvadarśana (Buddha's Omniscience)
2020
Ink and metallic paint on canvas
150x210cm
Light
2020
Oil on canvas
150x210cm
Folly
2020
Oil and ink on canvas
each 140x180cm
Eternity Blossomed
2020
Oil and ink on canvas
65x75cm
Nocturne
2020
Oil and ink on canvas
30x40cm
Blue Moon
2020
Oil and ink on canvas
30x40cm
Rhythm
2020
Oil and ink on canvas
each 45x65cm
Allegory from afar
2020
Oil on canvas
Each 30x40cm
Auguries of Innocence
2020
Ink and acrylics on canvas
each 35x35cm
The Order of Things
2020
Ink and acrylics on canvas
35x45cm
A Drop of Sorrow
2020
Ink, pencil, acrylics on canvas
35x45cm
Sehnsucht
2020
Ink and acrylics on canvas
30x40cm