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Lehmann Maupin Introduces Adriana Varejão
Hong Kong Tatler

By Christian Barlow

Making her exhibition debut in Hong Kong, leading Brazilian artist Adriana Varejão will present eight new pieces of work at Lehman Maupin Gallery.  Hailing from one of the most ethically diverse countries in the world, Varejão’s paintings addresses themes of colonialism, miscegentation, and anthropology. Her work offers a range of interpretations that contain references to both her personal history and Brazilian history as a whole.

From the early stages of her career, Varejão has been fascinated with Brazil’s relationship with China through colonial trade routes – following the three months she spent in China, Varejão found inspiration in 11th century Song dynasty ceramics and developed an interest in craquelure – also known as the fine pattern of dense ‘cracking’, an effect present in many of her artworks, especially in her most recent series.

In her latest exhibition, Varejão further explores the connection between China and Brazil, executed in the style of traditional Chinese ink paintings also from the Song dynasty. She uses the same flattened perspective and imagined locations typical of Chinese landscape painting as she references her Brazilian heritage with images of Baroque churches and the monasteries of Minas Gerais. By combining Brazilian and Chinese imagery and stories, Varejão creates her own type of mestizaje, a term the artist often references as it embodies the concept of miscegenation—the cultural and biological mixing of race.