There is a flat and concealed world: the skimmed walls, the flat screens, and the expressionless faces. Underneath this seamless nature, there are many that we hide, such as pipes and wires, and emotions. The works of Zelin Seah from recent years address similar issues on the spiritual void that derive from digitalization. In The Two-Dimensional Man, Seah attempts to reinterpret the aesthetics of ancient relief by exploring knife-carving techniques on the surface of the paintings. He sees it as an act of mining out the possible meaning from the void.
Seah constantly finds himself confined in the limited space of modernity and the recent periods of lockdown have exacerbated this condition. The Two-Dimensional Man is a metaphor he borrowed from the ‘lying flat’ movement initiated by the younger generation in China – suggesting a new attitude towards life: lying flat, turning to slow life, leaving room for thoughts, and corresponding to the scientific progressive social pressure. As a response, this series hints at the artist’s will to ‘stay flat’ in the over-progressive modernity.