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Mu Pan’s Chaotic, Elegant Battle Scenes

Mu Pan’s massive painted battle scenes are teeming with both details and satire, humor and an introspective bleakness. The Chinese-American painter, based in Brooklyn, New York, reflects varying periods of art history in each work. And his newer paintings, rendered in acrylic on wood, reflect his fascination with Asian war history, pop culture, dinosaurs, and other topics.

Mu Pan’s massive painted battle scenes are teeming with both details and satire, humor and an introspective bleakness. The Chinese-American painter, based in Brooklyn, New York, reflects varying periods of art history in each work. And his newer paintings, rendered in acrylic on wood, reflect his fascination with Asian war history, pop culture, dinosaurs, and other topics.

“I love battle scenes; it’s my favorite subject,” the artist said in a past statement. “But it has nothing to do with my military service experience in Taiwan. In fact, I was just a propaganda soldier of the political warfare department—all I did there was poster-making and mural-painting. I couldn’t even dissemble a .57 rifle! Battle scenes excite me, especially the kind with swords and spears and people on horses trying to kill each other. I don’t know why—I just like it—in paintings, in movies. I enjoy producing images like that.”

The series “Dinoassholes” is its own narrative, showing humans and Mesozoic creatures interacting in both peaceful and, in true Pan fashion, a chaotic manner.

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