State of Play

Richard Koh Fine Art (RKFA) is pleased to announce a group exhibition of seven Singaporean artists; Ash Ghazali (b. 1975), Faris Nakamura (b. 1988), Hu Qiren (b. 1983), Ivan David Ng (b. 1991), Melissa Tan (b. 1989), Mengju Lin (b. 1996) & Samuel Xun (b. 1994).  Titled State of Play, this exhibition is scheduled to run from 20 Aug – 10 Sep 2022 at Richard Koh Fine Art Singapore, Blk 47 Malan Road, #01-26 Gillman Barracks, Singapore 109444.

“Art, frolicking in the sand playground of our memories, has a crucial role amidst Singapore’s endless cycle of demolition and rebuilding and the accompanying logic of pragmatism and state control. Contemporary art can critique but also console.” – Clarissa Oon, Writer

The humbling element of a playground is its pre-ordained status as a fun zone, an active, mobile site for bodies and minds to roam. This same need for fun activity is crucial in an artistic process. In spite of our limitations structurally, we are all able to carve an essence of a space to forge a momentary bubble of unadulterated play. The solid dimensions of structure give rise to environmental and external commentary, the way we play can also be traced to the way we live and die.

In State of Play (2022), seven artists invite us into their pursuit of alternate creative zones traversing play, catharsis and myth. Showcasing works by Ash Ghazali, Hu Qiren, Mengju Lin, Faris Nakamura, Ivan David Ng, Melissa Tan and Samuel Xun in varying mediums, the exhibition conveys their respective visual languages in the common denominator of play in art.

 


 

Ash Ghazali (b.1975, Singapore) was born and raised in Singapore and London, UK. His decades-long experience as an acclaimed creative director in advertising took a turn when he decided to focus on his art practice of tearing, slashing and disrupting the purity of the canvas.

Taking a blade to fabric may not typically be described as ‘painting,’ yet in Ghazali’s series of “CUTS,” he applies minimal formalism to a variety of fabric materials. From the cultural costumes of his heritage to vintage salvaged linen, on one level these bricolages are explorations in the balance of pattern and design, but as assumed paintings, they rupture that ’safe’ pictorial flatness to exist as completely unique forms.

In a language that is both nuanced and direct, Ghazali’s works mirror his own ethos – one that is nothing but a strive for the uncompromising.

 

Faris Nakamura (b.1988, Singapore) graduated with Bachelor in Fine Arts (First Class Honours) from LASALLE College of the Arts in partnership with Goldsmiths, College of London in 2014.

Through sculptures, installations and site-specific works, Faris investigates the way people navigate and orientate themselves as they encounter space. He desires to understand the attachment and detachments people have towards spaces, how these relationships develop, and their impact.

Faris was most recently announced as the winner of the IMPART Awards, Visual Artist Category, 2020. He was awarded the Young Talent Programme Winners’ Solo, 2017/2018, the Grand Winner at the Shitsurai International Art Competition, Kobe Biennale, 2015 and was the Winston Oh Travel Award recipient, 2013.

Faris has exhibited both locally and internationally. He has showcased at venues such as Gillman Barracks (Singapore), The Substation (Singapore), ION Art (Singapore), Scotts Square (Singapore),  Georgetown Festival (Penang, Malaysia), FASS Art Gallery (Turkey), Kobe Biennale (Japan), and Palazzo Ca’ Zanardi, (Venice).

It is also notable that Faris is a flautist and has performed at venues such as the Esplanade Concert Hall and the Victoria Concert Hall (Singapore).

 

Hu Qiren (b.1983, Singapore) is a visual artist whose practice explores the myriad forms of image making, incorporating a wide range of media, including photography, video, installation and performance. Expressing a vibrant visual vocabulary inspired by his own identity and tradition, Qiren synthesizes cultural binaries, while incessantly challenging notions of authenticity, belief and value systems.

Qiren completed his MFA in Photography and Related Media at Parsons The New School for Design under the Provost scholarship in 2015 and has showcased his works at the One World Trade Center, Queens Museum, Aperture Foundation and Photoville in New York, Louvre Museum in Paris, Singapore International Photography Festival, Pingyao International Photography Festival in China, Auckland Festival of Photography in New Zealand and at the Theory of Clouds Gallery & Community Worldwide in Kobe, Japan.

In 2016, Qiren was the grand winner of the Harper’s BAZAAR Art Prize.

 

Ivan David Ng (b.1991, Singapore) is an artist-educator raised in the city-state of Singapore. Approaching sculptural forms with a painter’s sensibilities, he is interested in ideas surrounding the provenance of things, archaeological motifs, the role of play in creating art and finding the art as he makes. He received his BFA in Painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Summa Cum Laude.

He has exhibited in Singapore, the US and South Korea. He received the Gold Award (Established Artist Category) in the 39th UOB Painting of the Year in 2020. He has been the recipient of a variety of grants and residencies such as the Singapore Art Week Grant, an Anderson Ranch Art Center Scholarship, and the Maryland Institute College of Art Chair’s Award Research Grant.

 

Melissa Tan (b.1989, Singapore) is a visual artist based in Singapore and received her BA (Fine Arts) from Lasalle College of the Arts in 2011. Her works are based on nature, themes of transience and the beauty of the ephemeral. Her recent projects revolve around landscapes and the process of formation. Interested in geography and textures of rocks, she explores translating the visual language through different mediums. Employing processes such as paper cutting, painting and silk-screen techniques, she is interested in materiality and how the medium supports the work. Though trained as a painter, she also works with video, sound and objects.

She was included in The Singapore Show: Future Proof, Singapore Art Museum at 8Q in 2012 and An Atlas of Mirrors, Singapore Biennale 2016, Singapore in 2016. She also participated in the National Art Council and Dena Foundation Artist Residency program (Paris, France) in 2013. Public collections include Singapore Art Museum (SAM), Marina Bay Sands (Singapore), Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) New York, Facebook (Singapore), and CapitaLand (Singapore). Solo exhibitions include Under the Arched Sky (2019) Richard Koh Fine Art, Singapore; Back to where we’ve never been (2018), Richard Koh Fine Art, Kuala Lumpur; Arc of Uncertainties (2016), Richard Koh Fine Art, Singapore; and the Darkest Hour is Just Before Dawn (2014), Richard Koh Fine Art, Singapore.

 

Mengju Lin’s (b.1996, Singapore) artistic practice revolves around the agency of non-human things and how they protest. She works with found material to make images, sounds, text objects and zines. She is a co-conspirator of radioriotgrrrl with Nadhirah Khalid and plays in a band called Terrapin with Jeremy Sharma and Lai Yu Tong.

 

Samuel Xun (b.1994, Singapore) is a multidisciplinary artist based in Singapore, graduating from LASALLE College of the Arts. His practice explores emblems of culture and identity, often centred around themes of emotion, cognition, and aestheticism. His work includes sculpture, installation, and textile compositions informed by film, culture, and personal narratives.

Xun’s oeuvre cross-references the hegemonic framework of queer identity within the national rhetoric and world-at-large, filtered through the lens of lived experiences and the psychoanalysis of self. His characteristically ornamented surfaces are governed by a cathartic process of making that posits the use of colour, texture, and text, as a means to convey humanistic resolutions to social discourse. Ultimately, Samuel is interested in how art can provide catharsis, facilitate empathy, preserve culture, and foster better interaction in a digital society.

His recent exhibitions include a solo I’m Exhausted, Where is He?, Art Agenda, Singapore (2022), and group exhibitions Veneer & Visage, Supper House, Singapore (2022), It’s My Party & I’ll Cry if I Want to, The Projector, Singapore (2022), Dress/Address, Grey Projects, Singapore(2021), and Only Losers Left Alive, Yeo Workshop, Singapore (2021). Xun and his work have also been published in VOGUE, The Straits Times, ELLE, Female, L’OFFICIEL, MU/SE, MEGA, Nüyou (큽堂), and Mensfolio.

 

  State of Play

State of Play

20 August - 10 September 2022

Richard Koh Fine Art,
Blk 47 Malan Road,
#01-26 Gillman Barracks,
Singapore 109444

Tuesday - Saturday, 11am - 7pm
Closed on Sundays, Mondays & Public Holidays

Ash Ghazali
Hu Qiren
Ivan David Ng
Samuel Xun

Ash Ghazali, Faris Nakamura, Hu Qiren, Ivan David Ng, Melissa Tan, Mengju Lin & Samuel Xun – State of Play

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