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H10-1 Wu Zetian

H10-1 Wu Zetian
Signed Print

Damien Hirst

Giclée print, 2022
Signed Print

Critical Review

The print is part of Hirst’s collection H-10 The Empresses. In this collection composed of five impressive gliclée prints, Hirst produces a variety of patterns which are made out of red butterflies. Each print in the series is named after a historical Empress. The name of this print, H10-1 Wu Zetian, refers to the Chinese Empress Wu Zetian who played an important role in the consolidation of the Tang Dynasty. In 655 CE Wu Zetian married the Chinese Emperor, Gaozong and she threw herself into political affairs demonstrating her fierce intelligence, ambition and diplomatic skills.

Hirst has had a long-standing interest in butterflies and the artist often incorporates the insect into his artworks. Notable uses of butterflies in Hirst’s work include the interactive art installation In and Out of Love from 1991 in which Hirst bred butterflies in a large humid room which were free to fly about the exhibition space. Hirst’s Mandala paintings and his Kaleidoscope collection, which the artist started in 2001, also feature butterflies.