Tang Shuo Casts Himself as Members of His Small Chinese Village in a New Series of Paintings


#Tang Shuo

“A Family” (2024), oil on linen, 190 x 180 centimeters. All images courtesy of Beers London, shared with permission

In The Narrators, artist Tang Shuo inserts himself into the stories of his native Boulder Hill by painting himself as the protagonist. He envisions life as a sweaty worker hunched over a field of weeds or a child angling to capture a butterfly. Like previous bodies of work, the pensive series takes the divide between memory and fact as a starting point and how that tension arises within his small village on the edge of Guilin, China.

Working in deep, shadowy palettes with a signature flatness, Shuo creates an ensemble of characters in his likeness. All wear the same rolled pants and long-sleeved shirts and have dark hair that pools at the shoulders. This resemblance allows viewers to similarly cast themselves in the roles the artist has as an exercise in empathy and connection. “I hope viewers can immerse themselves in the stories of Boulder Hill, experiencing the memories and emotions I have encountered,” he says. “I aim for these artworks to evoke resonance and provoke contemplation on personal memories, hometown history, and human emotions.”

The Narrators runs from June 7 to July 13 at Beers London. Find more from Shuo on Instagram.


a man in a yellow long sleeve shirt and orange rolled up pants sits in a tree with a cut branch while a cat stands at the bottom right

“Onlooker in the Tree” (2024), oil on linen, 120 x 110 centimeters

a man in a beige sweatshirt with brown pants walks on a path holding a kettle with fire and smoke

“Fire for Warmth” (2024), oil on linen, 170 x 140 centimeters

a man with long hair, an orange long-sleeve shirt, and rolled up tan pants grips a twig as if to hit a striped cat near a butterfly

“The Child Catching Butterflies” (2024), oil on linen, 120 x 110 centimeters

a shirtless man hunches over and grasps green grass in a field

“Weeder” (2024), oil on linen, 160 x 140 centimeters

two men with long hair, long sleeve shirts, and rolled up pants work in a field with two dogs at their feet

“Water” (2024), oil on linen, 170 x 140 centimeters

#Tang Shuo


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