The show aims to pose the following debate/dialogue: What is the significance of a decade apart? How do two generations dissect personal artistic references and build on their own styles? Why is it important to cross-examine them together? The selected artists from the 1980s (Genevieve Chua (b.1984), Hu Qiren (b.1983) and Melissa Tan (b.1989)) will present works with interests in abstraction, photography and mythology. In addition, the selected artists from the 1990s (Mengju Lin (b.1996), Odelia Tang (b.1993), and Ian Tee (b.1994)) will present works based on themes of textual intervention, pain negotiation and vulnerability.
Mengju Lin’s work draws attention to the visceral positioning of text and words. Lin describes how text on posters and packaging boxes are often recurring words but present themselves dressed very differently. Lin’s paintings offer a textual cosmos, ordered in the artist’s lingual curiosities, strewn almost directorially on canvas. For Odelia Tang, pain negotiation is her chosen focal point. Tang describes pain negotiation as an act of articulating what she considers pains trapped within the mind or body. Her series alludes to our human responses to pain and its subsequent thumbprint on our subconscious level. Ian Tee conjures a series probing into the dichotomy of vulnerability versus a larger implication of social history. Tee’s process involves dealing with meanings that emerge from gathering the fragments. Materials and appropriated imagery embedded in the work invite viewers to project their own experiences and create points of connection. His deft maneuvering of material, placement and concept unleashes a liberated, albeit calculated final collage.
Genevieve Chua presents her paintings as a way to navigate ideas about the diagram, the edge, surface tension and limits, syntax, and glitch, through modalities of painting… As the series builds up indefinitely, shaped stretchers reveal the evolution or apparent deterioration of a form. A play on words and phrases may also instigate an improvisation of a shape. Chua references breeze blocks in architecture, which are defined as cinder blocks stacked and designed to create a mosaic or other pattern. Hu Qiren’s contributing photographs feature a triptych of an annual solar eclipse. This was painstakingly captured using a home-made viewing apparatus and his vintage Polaroid camera. The resulting set of Polaroid films were then digitally scanned and enlarged via large-format printing. Melissa Tan continues her foray into goddesses and mythology, specifically emphasizing feminine empowerment. Delving into symbolism and the legacy of mythic origin and story-telling, Tan employs the meshing of metaphorical shapes and forms with her prior research on asteroids and science for the blueprint of her metal sculptures.
Accompanying the exhibition is a short documentary project directed by multidisciplinary Singaporean artist, Kray Chen, recipient of the 2017 National Arts Council’s Young Artist Award. The primary objective of the documentary project is to create a high quality and professional online record of the thought process and artistic trajectory of the six artists. The documentary will be available for viewing at the gallery and on its social media platforms.
Genevieve Chua is represented by STPI Gallery
Ian Tee is represented by Yavuz Gallery
A DECADE APART / TOGETHER