This week we took a look round the galleries at the new arts hub in Singapore, Gillman Barracks. Whilst a little out of the way, its well worth a visit to the area to see a lot of interesting art in one place. It’s a great local and international mix, featuring both emerging and established artists. This week’s visit seemed to be themed by capturing light quality, plus the use of lines and dots.
At the Tomio Koyama gallery, we were drawn into the wonderful and complex paintings of Zhao Xuebing that you can see below. “Central Park” is a series of work featuring the woods and undergrowth of New Yorks famed green area. At a glance, the contours in the paintings are blurry and the edges seem to be like ink spreading on paper. However, the details consist of fine interwoven strokes, which Zhao repetitively applies on the canvas. Standing back, the monochrome deep blue colour, holds a very rich and evocative depth. The artist is inspired by Chinese traditional ink painting, although the media is oil on canvas.
Zhao says, “Lines have characteristic of freedom and energy, and at the same time require thoughts and compositions I like pure lines and the relationship they have with each other.” The artist’s depiction of light and shade, dappled movement of leaves overhead, and beams of light penetrating the treetop canopy is expressive and enchanting.
At Ota Fine Arts we saw ‘Love Forever’ by Yayoi Kusama – a selection of 25 limited edition silkscreens on canvas, based on Kusama’s series of black and white marker drawings from 2004 to 2007. As always, the artist draws with a quirky eye and freely alternates between abstraction and figuration. Her iconic motifs are sprinkled throughout: an eye, a woman’s profile, and always the polka dot:
Yayoi Kusama, Hymn, at Ota Fine Arts
We also visited Sundaram Tagore, a gallery originating from New York, dedicated to examining the exchange of ideas between Western and non-Western cultures. They are currently showing the work of 15 artists who explore this cross-cultural exchange: from sublime waterfalls by Japanese artist Hiroshi Senju to abstract, gestural landscapes by Mexican painter Ricardo Mazal, these artists work in diverse media and incorporate content and techniques from multiple cultures.