The Imaginary Evolution Traced by the Talent of Angela Su
With an astounding mastery, this creator pursues the alchemic and medical tradition of the 15th century.
Angela Su borrows her inspiration from ancient medical treaties, and her works achieve the beauty of plates by classical xylographic masters, such as Andrea Vesalius, while her representations of insects with sprouting plants, rich textures and whimsical forms are a true visual delight. Su’s formation as a biologist enables her to understand the intricate ways in which life is ornamented and developed ––her visions on an imagined evolution are entirely rich with information and incredibly beautiful.
The calligraphy she uses also endows each of her works with an ancient and captivating essence that remits to the alchemical studies that nurture her work. The entirely fertile, scientific and mystical tradition of the 15th and 16th centuries is transformed into a contemporary reflection about the beauty of nature ––in the same way that naturalist and philosopher Ernst Haeckel used his studies on nature to praise natural aesthetics.
The work of the doctor, astrologist, alchemist and mystic Teofrasto Paracelsus is crucial for a large percentage of Su’s work. Paracelsus Garden, for example, is a fantastic series of delicate anatomy and entomology drawings. Angela combines two of the most important aspects of Paracelsus’ life. On the one hand, the perception we currently have of him as the first great mind of medical sciences, and on the other his rooted beliefs in mystical practices, worthy of a traditionalist medieval spirit.
Angela also uses performance to experience and represent the human body in a similar way to that portrayed in her drawings. The mutilated flesh of human dissections, identical to that in naturalist or entomological studies, are violent acts with the purpose of revealing the mystery of life, a spiritual journey that connects every single life form, and which this creator invites us to join.
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