Over 50 artists celebrate the 20th anniversary of Enter the Wu-Tang in new London exhibition Wu Tang is for the Children.

Over 50 artists celebrate the 20th anniversary of Enter the Wu-Tang in new London exhibition Wu Tang is for the Children.

It’s been over twenty years since Wu Tang released their seminal studio album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) and to celebrate that fact London-based photographer and curator Gemma White invited 50 artists to contribute to a group show inspired by the Clan.

The eclectic collection of Wu-inspired artwork featured everyone from King Krule collaborator Kid Acne to psychedelic skate illustrator Andrew Khosravani and runs until March 14 at Londonewcastle Project Space on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch, East London.

We caught up with Gemma to find out more.

How did the Wu Tang is For Children show come about?
I noticed one of my pals, Malarky, was using the Wu ‘W’ in some of his illustrations and murals so it just sprang from there. I bounced the idea off my friends and they were really responsive. The more people I told, the more it had to happen!

How did you choose the line-up of artists?
To start, I sent out the brief to a small group of friends and artists, who I knew were huge Wu fans and they recruited some of their mates. I also had some bookmarks from lifestyle blogs that regularly feature Wu/hip-hop art and found some artists that way. Once word got out about the show, I started getting emails from other interested artists.

Can you describe some of your favourite pieces from the show?
It’s very difficult to pick out favourites! Joe Farrell, from Accomplice Tattoo, has created some incredible samurai inspired pieces. Then Zophiel Webb, who is collaborating with Josh Earle on an animation, drew this amazingly intricate mandala which blows me away every time I look at it. The sheer level of talent from all the artists was just astounding.

As curator, what were the challenges in presenting these diverse artists’ work together? How did you overcome those challenges?
Well, the majority of the work was created especially for the show so I was viewing work for the first time as it was being delivered. I had some pieces that I knew would work in certain spots around the gallery, so they became the anchors we built around. There’s a flow to the work, going from commercial pieces to more fine art, that wasn’t entirely intentional but worked really well in the end.

What drew you to Londonewcastle Project Space?
They offer this amazing space on Redchurch Street to new and emerging artists for very little cost, so they’ve offered me and the artists such a great opportunity. The team at Londonewcastle were super responsive to the proposal I sent them and I am so stoked that we got to work together on this project.

What impact do you hope the exhibition has on viewers?
I would hope that anyone who comes to the show is inspired to get home and listen to some classic Wu Tang tracks.

Why do you think Wu-Tang continue to inspire, and resonate with, so many people?
36 Chambers is such a beautifully crafted album, start to finish. Everything, from the sampling to the lyrics, is just so razor sharp. And the nine members have such different styles of rapping that listening to the music doesn’t get tiring. That album has influenced everyone in modern hip-hop from Jay Z to Kanye, even Drake. Additionally, Wu Tang, as business men, got their branding on point – everyone who sees a Wu ‘W’ knows what it stands for.

Do you have another exhibition in the pipeline?
I think there will be a more low-key exhibition for Photomonth East London, later this year. But you never know, maybe we’ll bust out a 2pac one!

For the full list of artists visit the Wu Tang is for the Children website. Keep up with Gemma’s news on her Twitter.