Damien Hirst

Wu Zetian

Laminated Giclee print on aluminium composite, screen printed with glitter

Edition of 2853

100 x 100 cm

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About the work

'The Empresses' encapsulates Hirst's exploration of butterfly symbolism and historical narratives, intertwining themes of power, stability, and beauty. A series of five laminated Giclée prints on aluminium composite, screen printed with glitter, these meticulous compositions paired with vibrant imagery, invite viewer to contemplate the intricate interplay between life, death, and the enduring allure of transformation. Rife with symbolism and with a hexagonal composition at its centre, ‘Wu Zetian’ is named for the ruthless yet successful Chinese ruler. In 655 CE Wu Zetian (624-705 CE) married Emperor Gaozong and became empress, much to the dismay of many statesmen who she soon eliminated in an infamous reign of terror that she maintained over the innermost circles of government. Despite the politics and violence within, Wu Zetian proved to be a competent leader, creating stability and consolidating the Tang Dynasty at a time when it appeared to be crumbling.

Signature: Hand signed and numbered on label verso

Medium: Laminated Giclee print on aluminium composite, screen printed with glitter


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Wu Zetian

Damien Hirst

Wu Zetian