Tracey Emin: The controversial artist on her 'most mature' show to date

Story highlights

  • Controversial artist Tracey Emin has opened her first show in Hong Kong
  • I Cried Because I Love You is her largest show of paintings to date
  • Emin plans to leave the art world for a year for personal reasons

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(CNN)Whether it's a bed covered with cigarettes and condoms, or a tent emblazoned with the names of everyone she has ever slept with, Tracey Emin's work has often been personal and confrontational.

But now it seems as though the Turner-nominated Brit has done some growing up. At least that's how she sees it.
    "I think this is the most mature show I've done," says Emin of White Cube and Lehmann Maupin Hong Kong's I Cried Because I Love You, her first show in Asia.
    "When I was younger, I was dealing with my past, maybe in a cathartic psychological way, and now I'm trying to deal with my future and that's unknown territory."
    While she's known for her installations and neon art works, I Cried Because I Love You comprises none of the former and few of the latter.
    "Some of these paintings I started in 2006 and I'm just showing them now. It's to do with confidence. I felt really good about the fact that the works, the show, is essentially just painting, drawing, embroidery," she says. "It's very pure actually."
    Tracey Emin on her 'most mature' show to date
    Tracey Emin on her 'most mature' show to date

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    Tracey Emin on her 'most mature' show to date 01:46

    Looking to the future

    As satisfied as she is with her latest output, Emin plans to disappear from the art world later this year. After putting on up to three shows annually for the last nine years, she believes a break is in order if she wants to stay creative.
    "I'm not married; I don't have children; I don't have relationships. I'm a singular person. And for those reasons, you can be very narcissistic, you can't see what's around you," she says. "I need to take stock and step back and view my life and make some really good decisions, I hope."
    In the video above, Tracey Emin muses on love, finding her confidence as a painter, and why you won't be hearing from her in 2017.
    Tracey Emin: I Cried Because I Love You is spread over White Cube and Lehmann Maupin galleries in Hong Kong until May 16, 2016