Hung Lau’s three faces of Mary

4 Jun 2021 | Life

A sculpture by Chinese focolarino and artist, Hung Lau, now adorns the Gallary of the Lionello Bonfanti Business Park, which was named after recently departed businessman Giovanni Bertagna.

The Gallary at Lionello Bonfanti Business Park was officially inaugurated on Saturday, May 29, 2021 and named after Giovanni Bertagna, a businessman from Lombardy, Italy, who died recently. A competition had been held not too long ago, to come up with project proposals on how to redefine the space which already displayed an iron sculpture of great artistic value, a work by Hung Lau, Chinese focolarino who lives in Loppiano. His new sculpture, called Three Marys, was produced for the 30th anniversary of the Economy of Communion (EoC) and to honor Lionello Bonfanti Business Park which promotes the EoC.

The work of art represents Mary under three guises:

Our Lady Undoer of Knots
Mother of Equilibrium
Our Lady of Perpetual Discernment

What made you choose these titles?

Hung explains: “There’s no particular reason for expressing these three privileges of Mary in a single piece. Indeed, not even a lifetime would suffice to listen to the hearts and sing all the litanies that describe Our Lady through all eternity, maybe even adding a few new titles.”

In this piece, in which we find the features of an African, Asian and Western Mary, Hung wished to join himself to the universal tradition of Marian iconography: “I tried to share the fruits of my own contemplation, but also to honor Her, the Mother of Jesus, by presenting her as a model of life and as a mirror of Gospel virtues.”

Why present Mary in the middle of a business park?

Hung explains: “Because Lionello Bonfanti Business Park is both a physical space and also a place of values, a place for work and for relationships. And Mary is also a businesswoman, a promoter, a worker, a housewife, a lay person – one of us.”

But let’s go back to the sculptures and find out what each of the three contain.

“Balance, clarity, discernment and the ability to undo knots, problem solving, as they say in English: these are all aspects of communion that are also able to be experienced by secularism.

Balance is the art of those who govern, of those who manage a business.

Discernment is sorting, differentiating things with the help of a sieve and a knife, to make clear decisions. For St. Ignatius of Loyola discernment consists in distinguishing between the voice of God and the voice of the Enemy, the good path to be followed and the less virtuous path to be avoided. Our Lady, who is known and venerated as the undoer of knots, is well known thanks also to Pope Francis who had promoted devotion to her before he was pope.”

But there’s more.

Hung continues: “Development is a fundamental business term for people involved in economics and entrepreneurship. It derives from the French word desveloper, to undo, which implies a confused intertwining of threads. And veloper can be traced back to the Latin verb volvere which literally means to turn, in the sense of twisting and enveloping.  Therefore, development would point back to the undoing of this tangle of knots and, metaphorically, of allowing things to flow smoothly.”

But the title Three Marys also has another meaning.

“Yes, the tradition of the three Marys derives from the Gospel of St John and refers to the three women who followed Jesus during his passion, death and Resurrection.

The iconographic tradition represents these three women beneath the cross and  at the tomb of Jesus. The three Marys were considered the icons of fidelity to Jesus and were referred to as mirophores, that is, bearers of myrrh and perfumes to the tomb of Jesus.

During this period in which we seem to be coming out of the night of Covid, they arouse our imaginations and allow us to catch the fragrance that accompanies the Resurrection. Scent, presence and trails that are left by all the apostles of yesterday and today.

Lionello’s Business Park also represents one of these spaces of beginnings, of generativity, of restarting, of revolution . . . And this Gallery, which will soon be enhanced with other types of art produced by younger people, is a perfect context in which to host this work.”

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