WE LIKE IT: CULT OF BEAUTY

A tour of the Wellcome Collection’s major exhibition exploring shifting notions of beauty across time and culture 

Janice Li
Interviewed by Ben Perdue, Head of Content and Editorial


8-minute read






Spring London were given a guided tour of ‘The Cult of Beauty’ by exhibition curator Janice Li, giving us an exclusive insight into what goes into telling the story of how morality, status and health, age, race and gender have influenced the evolution of ideas about beauty throughout history. We spoke to Li after the tour about working on the show, and her hopes for how it can inspire visitors on their own beauty journeys.  

BEN PERDUE:
Hi Janice! What can The Cult of Beauty tell us about how traditional beauty standards are evolving?  


JANICE LI:
I think we’re finally able to demystify universal everlasting beauty ideals and see how they came about because of a really complex system of beliefs, from philosophical to scientific. We are moving away from the more linear thinking of the past to a place where polarities and contradictions can coexist, and that is a beautiful thing. 



“We are moving away from the more linear thinking of the past to a place where polarities and contradictions can coexist, and that is a beautiful thing.” 

— Janice Li


BP:
What is your favourite part of the exhibit? 


JL:
In terms of a curatorial experience, then commissioning a renaissance historian, a soft metaphysicist and a biophilic artist to come together and create a multi-sensory experience. It explored how futuristic and historical aesthetics can overlap to enhance our understanding of time. And of course, Mirror, Mirror On The Wall our multiscreen virtual scroll, it feels very 2023, set in a nightclub bathroom. Not what you’d expect to see in the Wellcome Collection!  


BP:
What do you hope people come away from the exhibition with?


JL:
Firstly, more questions. There is no single answer to anything we explore here, it can always provoke more questions, challenge more preconceptions. Secondly is empowerment. We have a lot of artist commissions that bring people's lived experience to life, like trans people, people of colour, and hopefully visitors feel seen through those experiences. And lastly acceptance both towards oneself and people around us.  

The Cult of Beauty is at London’s Wellcome Collection until 28 April 2024 



Credits:
Andrew Washford Murphy



LONDON

london@springstudios.com
+44 (0) 20 7267 8383

Careers - londoncareers@springstudios.com

Spring House
10 Spring Place
London, NW5 3BH, UK



NEW YORK

newyork@springstudios.com
+1 (212) 257 5600

Careers - newyorkcareers@springstudios.com

6 St Johns Lane,
New York, NY 10013
USA


MILAN

milan@springstudios.com
+39 0248841736

Careers - milancareers@springstudios.com

Via Tortona 37,
2144 Milano
Italy



FIND US ON SOCIAL

Instagram
LinkedIn
YouTube

MORE LINKS

Careers
Spring Place
Privacy Notice
Cookie Policy
Terms & Conditions

© Spring Studios 2023