Those who draw dragons have the secret of divine energy. The spirit is like mother and the form is like son. -Dong Yu, Song Dynasty c.12th century China, “On Painting Dragons”
From Mesoamerica to Medieval Europe, ancient Persia to Japan, dragons have consistently featured prominently in diverse cultures’ distinct cosmologies and visual cultures. As we approach another Year of the Dragon, Paris-based curator Lexing Zhang found herself asking what exactly that could mean in 2024—what is it about this invisible creature that seems to inspire its apparition everywhere? What is its enduring, universal appeal? What would we ask of a dragon in 2024?
In Dragon is My Middle Name, LOY Contemporary Art Gallery’s inaugural exhibition, Zhang has posed these questions to an international group of artists—resulting in a collection of works that reflects both the universality and versatility of the dragon as a powerful muse. Coinciding with Art SG, Singapore’s premier contemporary art fair, the diverse exhibition appropriately reflects its host city’s role as a site of global exchange and crossroad of ideas.