Beijing Times: Fawn Rogers’ ‘Burn, Gleam, Shine’: An Artistic Reflection on Ecological Destruction

Lynn Hatem, Beijing Times, 22 Jul 2023

Contemporary American artist Fawn Rogers paints a stark picture when talking about the current state of the planet. “We are living in a massive crime scene, and all of us are personally implicated,” she says in an interview preceding her solo exhibition in Hong Kong. Rogers aims to raise the hard-hitting questions that often go unaddressed. “Each living entity cherishes life as much as we do. However, when was the last time we spared a thought before crushing a spider or wondered about the origin of the fish we’re about to consume?” she questions. 


Rogers firmly believes in the role of artists as harbingers of societal change. They can arouse empathy and establish a harmonious relationship between humans and all living entities. This thought forms the backbone of her upcoming exhibition titled “Burn, Gleam, Shine,” presented by Galerie Marguo at Hong Kong’s K11 Musea, marking her first solo exhibition in Asia.


“In “Burn, Gleam, Shine,” Rogers uses an amalgamation of painting, photography, video, sculpture, and installation to depict the pulsating duality of life forms. Set against vivid monochromatic backgrounds, the paintings from her series “The World is Your Oyster” represent life forms as tantalizingly carnal, radiating both raw sexuality and stark ecological destruction. Rogers reflects, “The phrase ‘The World is Your Oyster’ often heard by young adults setting foot into life’s journey, stems from Shakespeare’s ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor.’ The context alludes to a veiled passion teetering on violence.”

“Rogers sees the oyster as a perfect symbol for humanity’s convoluted relationship with nature. “Oysters symbolize a multitude of paradoxes, from being aphrodisiacs to carriers of disease, epitomizing environmental harm to being a luxury commodity,” she explains. “Humans cultivate them for controlling flooding and coastal erosion, while also exploiting them for their precious pearls. These contradictions echo my concerns about the Anthropocene era.”

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