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A Place Behind My Eyes (2015)

ION Art Gallery, Utterly Art, Singapore

A Place Behind My Eyes

ION Art Gallery, Utterly Art, Singapore

7 August - 16 August 2015

Artist Statement:

Almost two years ago, after many tries of finding subject matter worthy of the canvas, I began painting places in my immediate surroundings that caught my eye. A path near home, a long kang (gutter) on the way to dinner, the MRT station before dawn on the way to work. To be honest, I was not sure why I found this process so cathartic and meaningful. I once thought I was documenting the places and events in my life. Now I feel that is only half the truth, for I realise that these impulses are really beyond reason, and I would never be able to rationalise why I would choose a certain scene and composition over everything else possible around me. I guess it is perhaps because I could never really see things for what they are. When the afternoon is cloudy and the sunlight is dim, I seem to hear the void deck heave a heavier sigh. Lying in the dirt, smoked cigarettes and a gym membership brochure suddenly become a desperate cry to be alive in my eyes. Watching the last bursting rays of a setting sun in a sky of yellow and orange on the bus home still leaves me awestruck from time to time.

I guess what I am trying to say is that these paintings may be of places but they have never really been about the specific locations. They are never simply about Bedok, Yishun, Tampines or a construction site near my house. They are always about the space between my eyes and my mind: a collision of the visual and the emotional, seeing while remembering and feeling. They represent things I feel the most strongly about: familiarity, wonder, loss, solitude and most of all, what I feel for those most dear to me.

It is my hope that with some empathy, you will see some of these things too.

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