A Show that Matters: “Landscape Memories” with four Singapore artists: Donna Ong, Genevieve Chua, Jane Lee, Ng Joon Kiat
Four very talented Singapore artists are represented in one space around a cohesive theme: landscape memories.
Curated by Khim Ong, the exhibition presents intriguing and often very tactile works that explore the idea of landscapes, not as scenery, but as we remember them and the emotions they create.
Each artist is a rising star of the local art scene - Donna Ong recently had works shown at Primo Marella and is soon to begin a one-year residency in Berlin at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, following in the footsteps of fellow Singapore artists Heman Chong and Michael Lee. Genevieve Chua was picked up by the Singapore Tyler Print Institute for the institute’s first foray into Art Basel in June, while Jane Lee will have a solo show in Tokyo at Mizuma Gallery. Ng Joon Kiat was one of the 25 Asian artists selected to exhibit with the Royal Academy of Art exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Singapore last year.
Though Ong is better known for her work with glass, here she switches materials and plays with nails, screws, and pins to create a large, visually-intriguing installation “Landscape Portraits (In a Beautiful Place Nearby),” that represents her undersea landscape memories of coral reefs
For this exhibition, Jane Lee reflects on the spaces her paintings inhabit, cutting small pieces out of her works and installing them alongside the main canvas.
Ng reprises a recent theme he has explored, the notion of artificial boundaries and delineating space on maps. The landscape acrylics present a geography abstracted from Google maps which he selected because of their boundaries. His paintings are purposely tactile as the artist says he likes to “tease” the audience — “you’ll want to touch it, but you can’t,” he remarked at the preview.
Chua investigates our often ambiguous relationship with landscape, and our fears of the unknown in the forest. In her series “Nocturne,” she photographed a particular tropical hibiscus plant that changes color throughout the day — “Being very urban, I’m interested in the changes that happen in the forest which we will usually miss,” the artist said. In another series, “She was here before,” Chua uses images of the forest around Mount Fuji, with many of its trees having fallen because of the soft volcanic soil. The screenprints have a ghostly effect thanks to the use of ground volcanic rock dust that she has sprinkled over the print.