Genesis is delighted to have produced Giclée Prints and Spacer Frames for longstanding friend and client Gayle Chong Kwan’s new exhibition, ‘The Taotie’, now on show at Compton Verney.


A new exhibition of seven photographic shrines and bronze and clay sculptural offerings by award-winning British artist Gayle Chong Kwan. The title, ‘The Taotie’, refers to the mythical and zoomorphic taotie that pivots between human and animal, earthly and heavenly, spiritual protector and devouring monster. The work develops from the artist’s 15-month residency at Compton Verney, and an exploration of diasporic rituals, Neolithic Chinese funeral bronzes, miniature portraits, the politics and provenance of collections, and histories of extraction and exploitation.


Each photographic self-portrait features the artist wearing a different three-dimensional mask she has made from cut and collaged archival and historical images. Each setting is connected to the complex histories presented in the archival images of each mask.


In ‘China Town’ the mask is larger than her head and is made from documentary images of Chinese and Indian indentured labourers in Mauritius, including images of her own family who migrated from China to Mauritius to work on sugar plantations and connected shops on the island. The artist is photographed wearing the mask in the midst of London’s bustling China Town.


The largest mask in the series, ‘Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’, overwhelms the artist as she stands wearing it outside the FCDO entrance in Westminster, London. The mask is made of images of documents that are currently inaccessible, held by the British Government. These so called “migrated archives” are a collection of files from 37 former British colonies that for decades the British Government claimed did not exist. While some have since been shown to the public, many records remain under lock and key, believed to contain sensitive information and potentially incriminating evidence regarding colonial administrative policies.


‘The Taotie’
Compton Verney
21st March 2024 – 31st March 2026