The Saha World is the title that both introduces and anticipates the vision of Yu Hong’s work - it is a concept of Buddhist culture which indicates the suffering of whoever is prisoner to their desires and resistance to difficulty. An essential idea for explaining the reflections of Yu Hong on “resilience” in the contemporary world, that force which drives us to live, despite adversity. This is the principal theme throughout the works of Yu Hong, where personal memory mixes with social-historical events. Her paintings retrace the troubled history of China over the last thirty years - the artist draws upon existing images, such as old photos and re-assembles them in new and divergent combinations. The subjects come out of Chinese iconography, Buddhist paintings, traditional poetry, nature, the animal kingdom, the cosmos and the life of man. However, Yu Hong also borrows from symbols out of European history, such as Gothic painting on golden backgrounds and Renaissance frescoes, placed right next to portraits of ordinary people. An ingenious combination that places together diverse moments in time and memory, useful for exploring changes in living, and Chinese social, cultural and political debate.
At the Yuz Museum, the artist stages a dialogue with her father to talk of the generation gap. A tale which is both personal and social.