The latest group show at Chan Hampe Galleries features more than ten local artists presenting pieces created as a response to another artwork of their choice. Gwen Pew gets three of them to tell us about their interpretations.
Fresh Takes is at Chan Hampe Galleries from Mar 12-29.
‘In Search of Tanah Airku’ (In Search of My Homeland), 2015
‘Fresh Takes is an opportunity to engage with the art of our past – a time to recall what artists have articulated in the process of nation-building, and find our own voice against this body of work. “In Search of Tanah Airku” is a response to Chua Mia Tee’s 1955 painting, “Epic Poem of Malaya”. His work belonged to that grand tradition of history painting, capturing people caught in the throes of political awakening. Sixty years on, we live in very different times. My work is a point of departure, a farewell to an older Singapore.'
‘My painting is inspired by Tan Swie Hian’s “Sun Moon Lake”. I was drawn to its composition, subject matter and use of muted colours. The idea of a lake was incorporated into my obsession with the human figure. The result: a black-and-white image of a nude half-submerged in water. Yet, nothing can be seen on the horizon – the background is an emptiness that implies a timeless, unknown space.’
Yeo Jian Long
‘SKULL (Semi-schematic Kaleidoscopic Unreal Lilliputian Landscape)’, 2015
‘“SKULL” is a pen-and-ink drawing extended on several sheets of paper. It is an interpretation of Ian Woo’s painting, “Skull”. “Skull” is a still life painting reminiscent of the vanitas genre [which often features the transience of earthly things as a theme], yet at the same time it also seems to shift into an abstract mode. Looking at the abstract plant-like forms, I’m reminded of images that you see under the microscope. Thus, I’ve interpreted “Skull” as a microcosm that incorporates details inspired by local plant life.’