Wuon-Gean Ho: The Heart's Sight

A print by Wuon-Gran Ho looking through a partially closed door at a female figure covering her eyes. She leans on a bed covered in eyes.

Wuon-Gean Ho, Hide and Seek, 2021. Linocut and monoprint, 6 x 7 3/4 inches. Courtesy of the artist.


April 18, 2024 – June 21, 2024


UB CFA Gallery
Second Floor

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The Heart’s Sight brings together a broad selection of works by Wuon-Gean Ho that spans the past 15 years. These prints, artists’ books, and short films are united by strong narratives: driven by the idea of remembering and remembrance, and engaging with the notion of an inner vision. 

The earliest series of Mask prints (2009) depict hopes, fears, and emotions on the surface of the skin. Swallow Span (2012) speaks about a fantastical dream when a girl takes off her shoes and enters a world where birds and humans collide. The Dancing Dresses (2013) form part of an animation about Costanza, a 15th-century princess whose ghostly presence can still be felt. A sequence of nine books make up the Orchis Library (2015) which plays with ideas of the book as a physical body. Their accordion-folded pages bring characters together in close proximity. 

There are two short films in the show. The first, Leaves, Leaving, Left (2023), uses drawing as a way of tracing and connecting with the recent past. In contrast, the project Looking for Dante (2023–24) speaks about forging a connection with a text written some 700 years ago, and measures its relevance to political situations today. Finally, the Diary of a Printmaker series of linocuts (2016–2024) consists of meticulously carved, brightly colored pocket-sized tales. Intended for Ho’s father, the topics range from joy to sorrow, and chart the human condition. They include absurd moments in swimming pools; the feeling of freedom and despair during lockdown; our overwhelming addiction to the screen; and the redemption of our animal companions. 

The title plays on the spoken phrase “The Heart’s Eye.” Say the words aloud and you might hear the heart’s I – an embodied desire. Say the words again and you might hear the heart’s sigh – equally both lament and joy. Repeat them and you might hear the heart’s sight – something sensed and the depth of that sensing. One last time and you might hear the heart’s side – something made from the inside, from the heart. Ho’s works are at times comical, tender, intimate, and bold.

Artist Bio

Wuon-Gean Ho was born in Oxford, UK, of Peranakan Chinese heritage. She graduated with a BA in History of Art from Cambridge University, and a professional license as a veterinarian, before taking up a Japanese Government Scholarship in 1998 to study Japanese woodblock printmaking in Kyoto Seika University, Japan under the tutelage of renowned artist Akira Kurosaki. She later completed an MA in Printmaking at the Royal College of Art, graduating with a distinction in 2016. Ho has taken part in numerous international print conferences in diverse roles including keynote speaker, exhibitor, panel chair and curator. She was news editor for the UK based publication, Printmaking Today, for five years, and was the founding editor of the IMPACT Printmaking Journal, an academic peer-reviewed journal that she created for the Centre for Print Research, University of West of England, Bristol, UK, where she held a research associate post from 2019–23.  

Ho exhibits her prize-winning works widely in the UK and abroad, most recently in a solo exhibition in 2023, Before I Forget, at the Hong Kong Open Printshop, SAR China. In 2022 she visited five US universities: University of Charlotte, North Carolina; University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN; University of Indiana, Bloomington, IN; University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; and University of Hawai’i, Hilo staying a week in each of the latter four places: giving talks, making projects with students, and creating new works. She lives and works in London, UK, where she is currently transforming her tiny living room into the very first studio of her own.  


Curated by Anna Wager, UB Art Galleries Curator of Exhibitions.