Born in 1942, Wong Keen is a second generation artist, whose early formative years were spent studying calligraphy with his mother, a professional calligrapher, and drawing with Liu Kang. Chen Wen Hsi was also one of his teachers who opened his eyes to Western art and Cubism, but it was when he moved to New York in the early 1960s, to study at Arts Student league in New York, that Wong Keen found his voice and embraced abstract expressionism, a movement itself influenced by oriental thinking and ink practices.
Over the years, the extremely prolific artist has created many Zen-like abstract compositions incorporating strong rhythmic calligraphic strokes.
“Second Nature,” opening June 25th at Artcommune Gallery in Singapore, is his latest poetic reflection on nature where forms and colors battle in a series of acrylic-on-paper works that blends Chinese ink aesthetics with a bold color palette.
Combining printmaking with painting – a technique frequently explored by the artist since the 1960s — the series deconstructs the properties of acrylic paints to achieve a visual effect that recalls Chinese ink-wash execution.
The exhibition will run until July 6.