Renee So was born in Hong Kong in 1974 and grew up in Melbourne, Australia. She lives and works in London. So’s work spans numerous traditional craft techniques including ceramics, hand-woven textiles and furniture that refer specifically to representations of the female figure in prehistoric cultures. She bestows monumental grandeur and caricatural qualities to the figures in her works, which weave together a pattern of cross-cultural references. Her fictional personas borrow from ancient ritual masks, military and aristocratic portraiture.
Renee So’s work has recently been the subject of solo exhibitions at De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea, UK, (2019-2020) and Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK, (2019). In 2020 she featured in Goldsmiths CCA’s exhibition Transparent Things. Other exhibitions include Hapticity: A Theory of Touch and Identity, Lychee One, London, UK (2021); London Making Now, Museum of London, UK (2021); One Day, Something Happens: Paintings Of People curated by Jennifer Higgie (2015); The Arts Council Collection, Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds, (2015); A Conspiracy of Detail, Mackintosh Museum, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, (2013); Newspeak: British Art Now, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK (2010) and The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia, (2010/2011).
The gallery was founded by Kate MacGarry in 2002 in East London, where some of their represented artists, including Goshka Macuga (Poland), Francis Upritchard (New Zealand), Ben Rivers (UK) and Dr Lakra (Mexico) had their first commercial gallery exhibition. Thier current gallery space, originally designed by architect Tony Fretton, is close by on Old Nichol Street where they present six exhibitions a year. The gallery participates in international art fairs including Art Basel (Galleries) and Frieze London where they have presented solo projects since 2010. The gallery represents 23 emerging and established artists; most recently adding The Estate of J.B. Blunk (USA), Laura Gannon (Ireland), Samson Kambalu (Malawi) and Bernard Piffaretti (France) to the roster.