Artwork’s Title: Bluer than blue
Materials Used: Acrylic, Oil and Hair on Linen
Studio Based: Singapore
Can you tell us about the process of making your work?
The process of my paintings are of my mindscape. I paint exaggerated scenes using parts of my emotions and also spaces that I capture from my surroundings. Putting my ideas together for my composition is like a puzzle since they’re from different sources of ideas which gives off an unfamiliar yet familiar, uncanny space.
Painting in layers- glazing because it is similar to physically concealing and revealing the idea behind the painting/body of works. Visually, it allows the character and uncanny spaces to communicate and respond to each other.
How would you define your work in a few words (ideally in 3 words)?
Haunting, sensitive, layers.
How did you come up with the idea of ‘‘Bluer than blue’’ (2022)? Is there any story behind this artwork?
The interrogation to our bodily presence is expressed through the use of the blue hue on the complexion of the character- Blue, which calls to mind feelings of calmness, fondness and ultimately, the increased sensitivity to pain.
‘Bluer than blue’ is of this character mimicking the idea of shedding skin (cutting off her hair) in the bathroom. The contrast of the blue pale skin (cold, pale, silence) and the sweltering room suggests she’s overwhelmed, forcing her to be in such a state.
Female figures seem to dominate your recent artworks; is it a current motif or is there any particular reason for concentrating on male representation on your canvases?
I paint female figures because it is what is closest to me, something that is close and familiar. There is no particular reason for painting only females or less men.
Light blueish hues seem to be a distinctive common place regarding the depiction of the characters on your canvases; do you feel aesthetically engaged with this particular colour at all? Is it meaningful at your artistry?
Previously I painted a series of works called “Black eye” and the paintings are of vague scenes involving characters with bruises and discoloration around the eyes. I wanted to develop the idea of discoloration of the eyes to something more acute, therefore I decided to spread it all over the character’s body. Bluish hues suggest tenderness- pain to touch and also calm and quiet.
Where do you draw inspiration in order to build up your distinctive portraiture on canvas? Do specific artworks have been created by random experiments in your studio or do you usually come up with a particular concept or narrative in the very beginning of your artistic process?
I draw inspiration from my surroundings and also myself. But I don’t paint reality. My works are both from random experiments and also a planned composition in mind. I would usually go with the flow and try not to have a specific concept at first because I find it challenging as I will consciously try to fit my subject matter into the idea and that will seem unnatural and insincere to me.
What would be the best way to exhibit your work?
Rustic space with dimmed room and spotlights.
Can you mention any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?
Paula Rego, Guglielmo Castelli, Picasso, Francis Bacon.
What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space look like?
I share my studio space with 3 other painters. It is small but cosy and I feel the most comfortable when I’m in the studio!
All images courtesy of the artist