Allegory was a solo exhibition held at Galerie Sogan & Art (Singapore) in 2012, which comprised of several oil on canvases that focused on subject matters strongly influenced by popular Chinese fairy-tales and myths.
The essence of each mythological character’s origins were portrayed and reiterated in a vanguard manner. To quote some examples, featured in this series of works were characters like Meng Po (Lady of Forgetfulness), Zao Jun (Kitchen God), Chang’O (Goddess of the Moon) and Guan Yin (Goddess of Mercy). It was my intention to create a platform through this exhibition to invite viewers who might be curious about contemporary visual arts related to Chinese mythology.
I am a single child whose playtime consisted of a lot of drawing on large pieces of paper laid on the floor.
I remember wanting to be a comic illustrator when I was a kid. I guess my shy and introverted personality hindered me from joining the other neighbourhood children who were playing outdoors: I was often at home sketching with my dad or by myself.
The act of drawing transports me to another plane where imagination and fantasy come to life. I think it is this specific nostalgia that I could not attain from non art related work, that creeps into my mind from time to time and eventually guiding me to where I am presently.
The works are a documentation of interesting urban spaces which I manipulate to form whimsical ‘playgrounds’ for the female characters I come up with. The characters incorporated into my paintings often lean towards the feminine.
The body structure of a woman I find more sensual, alluring but yet fragile and vulnerable, all at once. That is attractive to me.
A friend once commented how much he hated loneliness yet cannot do without it. I didn’t quite understand this paradoxical statement he had made then, but in recent years found myself reflecting and relating to his thoughts. In some twisted way, this melancholy of mine manifested itself into the characters of my paintings. The figures often appear caught in a moment of reverie and silent in their musings.
With Asia rising as a new art hub, I could see it playing an important role in promoting the notion that not only successful and pioneer artists are important, but that the advocating for upcoming and vanguard art practitioners are equally vital and essential. This will not only emphasise what is already recognised, but also breathe a new form of creative energy into the art world.
Buzzing, flourishing and constantly evolving.
Singapore's void decks. These are communal spaces that one can still find under some of the older apartment buildings in the country. It is a shared area that often stays vacant, but when occupied, could house events varying from wedding celebrations to funerals processions. I associate the void deck with a sense of absence and presence. When empty, it is an echo filled structure, with its supporting pillars casting long shadows on the cement ground. At times, it is a glimpsing window that offers a sliver of a stranger's everyday.
Inspiration speaks to everyone at different octaves and I don't perceive it as ever quite the same for you and I. Personally, I value the ordinary and simplistic fleeting moments that are muses for me.
Because the artworks I create lean toward tendencies of capturing particular moods and atmospheres, I would portray them as visual aesthetics that stir emotions or feelings that can only be personal and understood by the individual viewer. I think I am detail oriented by nature and that is what probably led me to first be intrigued with creating works that pay a lot of attention to intricacies.
The first theme I worked on for awhile was texture. Close up observations of tree barks, fabrics, cement, rusted surfaces, kept me fascinated for a long time. It was also the constant way I saw and painted various textures that led me to my style of painting (images that are composed of many random shapes of colors).
Despite loving the abstract patterns that textures offered, I knew from the get-go that I had a deeper passion towards illustrative art that came with a bag load of whimsy. The longing for some form of whimsical narrative concept in my work eventually spurred me to experiment with the figurative. It was the idea of trying to marry illustrative figures I created with my style of painting that I derived where I am presently.