23 April 2013

The Urban Abyss @ Wei-Ling Contemporary

Geometrical shapes, classical allegories inspired by Caravaggio, and negative space, are not supposed to go together.  Somehow Wong Chee Meng makes this combination work, with this series of bright landscape works, painted in beautiful shades of blue and white.

Men from the Island (2013)

Trace lines that depict horizon & perspectives in a painting, are deeply embedded via cuts of varying thickness directly into the fibreboard.  In 'Men from the Island', these lines invoke movement in the group of Asian men, its horizon point drawing attention away from the underlying Western men.  A similar effect is applied to 'Emerging', where its large circles stagnates the urgency shown on the two girls' faces, and flowers cover the scene underneath that denotes progress in the physical sciences.

Emerging (2013) - 80% completed

I remain perplexed even after comparing snapshots of Chee Meng's work process shown in the catalogue,  with the actual paintings with its underlying layers.  That the start of this process begins with the cutting and colouring of the MDF, especially for the rectangular shapes in 'The Blue Melody' is truly astounding, and reveals nothing about the artist's thought process.  The straight lines carved across this work creates an impression of digital line movements, seen in the opening credits of spy thriller movies.

The Blue Melody (2013) - 30% / 60% completed

Glossy white paint illustrates the subject matter, displaying an immaculate execution by the artist in his utilisation of negative space.  In "The Urban Abyss" - classical themes and art theory are apparent, but these enigmatic paintings are contemporary in its expression.

Spreading the Fields of Justice (2013)

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