The Rise and Fall of Young Sen – The Contemporary Artist’s Progress

The Contemporary Artist’s Progress – The Rise and Fall of Young Sen is an extraordinary body of work by Henry Hudson, perhaps his most ambitious to date. Ten plates, each over one and a half metres in height and two metres in width, tell the story of child prodigy Young Sen as he leaves his home and family in China for London and attempts to navigate the Western world.  Full of satire and teaming with art world references, the series gets to the heart of many issues of the contemporary art world as well as referencing the latest topics in the news and media today, all of which are executed in a riot of colour. In these works Hudson brilliantly retells and reinterprets William Hogarth’s seminal A Rake’s Progress from 1733, creating his captivating scenes from plasticine. With his choice of this affordable and readily accessible material the artist comments sharply on the world we operate in. A thrilling dichotomy is found between the innocence of his medium and its childhood connotations, and the seedy, troubled scenes for which he uses it to create in his signature thick impasto. In a clash between the much-loved 18th century mode of narration with 21st century references and an original technique, Hudson navigates his way through the contemporary art world, highlighting its ironies, humour and pretension, resulting in a timely and innovative series of beautifully sculpted paintings.