2015 BREATHING BOTANICAL DECEMBER 2015
As the year end closes in, I'm busying working on commissioned works for 2016 and working towards exhibiting a show.
2015 WHEN A CAT DREAMS OF GOING OUSIDE
2015 SECRET GARDEN SERIES NO. 1' FRIDA KAHLO
Who doesn't dream of a secret garden to luxuriate in? A secret garden is for me the ultimate luxury because there I have space to myself, yet be growing together with some of the most glamorous, beautiful, quiet and faithful things on earth. New York Botanical Garden recently held an exhibition recreating Frida Kahlo's famed garden at her house/studio at Casa Azul in Mexico City. Finally, Frida's horticulturist tendency revealed I thought. Just look at her iconic headdress and you know, she's on to something. Hence, I began my research and compiled a list of plants found in her garden which recent scholars observed how her garden would definitely have inspired her works. Based on this Frida Khalo's planting list, I painted a series of botanical watercolour illustration and paintings because we should all have a reason to start our own secret garden.
2015 ON THE TENDENCY OF BEAUTY
My research and long fascination with botany, natural flower dyes, botanical art, Alfred Russel Wallace's conceiving the theory of Natural Selection in SE Asia, notions of flowers as potent symbols of fertility, as surrogate beauty, all culminate in this birth of a new series inspired by the Butterfly Blue Pea, scientifically known as, Clitoris Ternatea. Painted with watercolours and the natural blue dyes of the flowers, this series of work is a way for me to continue to search and enquire about the essence of ephermeral beauty.
2015 BOTANY & BIBLIOPHILIA
Libraries are my favourite places so when the National Library Board asked me contribute an image of my books a feature in the Go! Library publications and to curate/moderate a series of talk, I felt superbly happy. The series of talk title, "The Art of Living" is held at Library@Orchard Each week will featured a theme surrounding the arts/design/cultural/lifestyle topics you can find especially in Orchard library. More importantly, it'll feature 2-3 invited guest speakers to share their beautiful research and experiences. Look out for the talks, not all of them will be about nature, but there is one about nature in January.. For now, this is the best I could do to condense some of my pet subjects here.
2015 BOTANY BEAUTY
I've always loved botanical illustrations and watercolour paintings akin to those found in Natural History Museum, botanist's field illustrations, vintage illustrated dictionary, herbalist's manuals, children's fairytale books, the list goes on. It is ultimately another way for me to observe and understand nature intimately when I don't have the chance to go out to nature.
2015 ONE TRUE LOVE
One True Love, 2015, Style Magazine, August issue. .
Style Magazine commissioned me to create an art piece for the August 2015 issue, where they invited a local artist to interpret a local jeweller's collection. I was inspired by Yuki Mitsuyasu's latest collection based on love, saga tree, nature and foraging. Concepts which are very close to my heart. "One True Love" is about the act of finding, keeping, gifting, nurturing and flourishing
2013 COME CLOSER
Come Closer, 2013, 35 x 40cm, acrylic, wires, strings, text. ICA Gallery II, Singapore. (Private collection)
I was commissioned to create this mobile of drifting text, titled, Come Closer, which is also the title of a fashion exhibition that intermingled retailed fashion objects with art works. I conceptualised the look of the exhibition, I wanted the audience/buyer to enter the exhibition space and to be confronted with two walls that are filled with polka dots. Some of these polka dots are peepholes which showcased the artworks and "goods". Through one of the peepholes, the drifting mobile invites the viewer to take a moment to consider the act of 'just looking'. In 2010, I delivered a conference paper on this notion of 'just looking' where the boundaries of looking at art blurs with commerce and ultimately desire. The paper is titled, "Just Looking: The Curatorial Meeting Point between Museums and Retail Spaces." It was later published in an academic journal in 2011.
Never Being Boring, 2013, 100 Friends, 21x 29.7cm, acrylic, wires, strings, text, TCC Gallery, Singapore. (Private collection)
Drifting text is immensely mesmerising. The title of the work is based on one of my favourite songs, Being Boring by The Pet Shop Boys.
2012 BE WITH YOU EVERYWHERE
Be With You Everywhere, 2012, 100 Friends, 21 x 29.7cm, ink, paper, text, TCC Gallery, Singapore. (Private collection)
I’ve always been fascinated by the layers of narratives that are found in dreams. Within these layers and dreams, we cross time and space. I exist in my dreams, where I, we, exist all at once, everywhere at the same time. Intimately connected and infinite.
2012 ONE PERFECT COMPLEX
One Perfect Complex, 2012, size variable, glass bell jars, white ceremonial sage smoke, dry ice, ice balls, plastic bubbles, helium balloon, cotton balls, lava salt, charcoal (private collection), selenite crystal tower (private collection), Trispace Gallery, ICA, Singapore
The installation features a series of delicate microcosm encased in nine bell jars. Each individual bell jar contains elemental materials that explores the notion of “As Above, So Below, As Within, So Without. Each microcosm is a formation of objects that reflect the way this intelligence works, where the inner reflects the outer, from atom (material) ad infinitum (metaphysical). Each is a miniature copy of the macrocosm, alluding to the mode of its action, as depicted by most of the transient and transformative state of the elemental materials within the jars which wane or develop across the duration of the installation. The work is an exploration on the unity of the microcosm with the macrocosm where the complete understanding of the two worlds equates perfect knowledge.
2011 UNDER ME YOU SO QUITE NEW
Under Me You So Quite New, 2011, 100 Friends 21 x 29.7cm, ink, watercolour, paper, text, TCC Gallery, Singapore. (Private collection)
The theme of exhibition: MUSE. One of my favourite poet of visual poetry is e.e.cummings'. His works have been a starting point for my MAFA exploration. Here, the idea of immersion, the intimacy of a handwritten piece, written particulary, for someone, anyone who has the ability to in a way get under your skin.
2010 STAR LIGHT
Star Light, 2011, 12" glowsticks, 300 x 400 x 600cm, Metal Stargazer, Zouk, Singapore.
Made up of 26, 12" glowsticks, the installation piece was timed in a way, where the light wanes and would 'disappear' among the lights of the dance floor, as the night progressed. I was interested in what will be needed to complete this idea of “metal”, to consider what is often missing that lies perhaps on the other end of polarity of “metal”, to bring it into wholeness. I find that there is always a kind of vulnerability in metal, in a positive way- not as a weakness, a kind of softness, which is not immediately presented or hidden. I want to show that kind of strength. I remembered being particularly struck by the arms and armour section in The Wallace Collection, London... to be confronted by so much metal and yet feel so much vulnerability behind the works. I especially admired its superlative and richness, richness in terms of experiencing something to its optimal for what it is.
2010 LIGHTNESS OF BEING
Lightness of Being, 2010, Polyester silk, single channel projection, 2010, 820cm, 760 x 320cm, MAFA exhibition, ICA Gallery II, Singapore.
Throughout my MA, my interest in text in motion stemmed from my love for text, literature and intertextuality. I wanted to free two-dimensional text into a three-dimensional space, in some ways, how these inter-dimensional aspects of time, space and text has always created a space of sensuous immersion for fictive discourses to take place within. For this piece, I created drifting mobile text up to 2 metres, I created a video and this is mapped onto multiple layers of translucent chiffon panels of variable sizes.
2009 GOLDEN AGE CAFTAN
Golden Age Caftan, 2010, silk chiffon, gold threads, gold and back beads, Fantasia, Project Space Gallery, ICA, Singapore.
Behind some of the reason why we wear clothes, I find the socio-magical relationship we have with clothes as a psychological necessity, after the primal needs of protection are met. Modesty is negotiable across the centuries, but the belief that your Dress, your assemblage close to your skin, empowers your performance for a special occasion or the everyday, matters. Here is an imagined ceremonial garment for someone who matters for herself above all.
2009 WHAT WOULD THE WORLD LOOK LIKE IF I RODE ON A BEAM OF LIGHT
What Would the World Look Light If I Rode on a Beam of Light? 2010, acrylic, white ink, text, 500 x 22 x 2cm, 4 out of 12, Praxis Gallery, ICA, Singapore
The impetus of the work arose from my love of literature– text, images and storytelling. The blurring boundaries of this liminal space and my curiosity to liberate the text from a two-dimensional space to the three-dimensional space. Here, the acrylic plates alludes to the degree of "transparency" and openness that is available to the readers. The handwritten text here are presented are arbitrarily lifted from my numerous journals in the past 15 years, it forms a layering of the experiences, within it memories, that are even forgotten and/or interpreted.