In a new film from our New York Close Up series, Jes Fan develops new sculptures that speak directly to concerns during the times of COVID-19, including a flesh-like prosthetic mask made in direct response to the political unrest and quarantine in his native Hong Kong.
Fascinated by the mechanisms that construct our cultural conceptions of race and gender, Fan’s work subtly challenges viewers to examine some of their most deeply held assumptions. “When you think of beauty in the past, it’s beauty and the sublime,” says Fan. “It has to come with this suspension, this fear. It also meant, in the past, to describe something that was so beautiful that it almost makes you want to puke.”