In his early years as an artist and fresh off an undergraduate degree programme at the Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore, Justin’s art skewed towards abstract expressionist tendencies, with enigmatic works that recalled the paint-splattered canvases of Jackson Pollock. His paint was found materialising as energetic marks in his paintings, but the years that followed these nascent beginnings saw Justin’s art morphing into something altogether different; the human figure began to make an appearance, symbols and icons slowly crept into his compositions, and visual narratives started to unfold before the viewer. All this meant that concrete stories could now be gleaned from Justin’s works, and the artist’s voice as a visual storyteller began to become more audible.
Today’s body of work, titled There is no other paradise, continues along this narrative path, with strong sociopolitical commentaries underlying each work. Societal conundrums are expressed profoundly through the topics of race and identity, and the arguments in this body of work stem from the multifarious nature of Malaysia, Justin’s home. In itself, There is no other paradise serves as a small nation of artworks where different materials and mediums cohabit. Acrylics on canvas form the majority of the citizens, printed plexiglass paintings inhabit another territory, and a fiberglass and video projection installation makes an appearance, too. The latter is a new addition to Justin’s oeuvre, and There is no other paradise is a product of both invention and introspection.
There is No Other Paradise