Contemporary artists in South East Asia
GESTURES OF LANDSCAPE
RICHARD KOH FINE ART
South East Asia/Artist News
RENOWNED MALAYSIAN AND SINGAPOREAN ARTISTS
Richard Koh Fine Art (RKFA) announced its participation in Art Jakarta 2022 (26-28 August 2022) with the group presentation of the three Malaysian artists: Joshua Kane Gomes (b. 1993), Justin Lim (b. 1983), Yeoh Choo Kuan (b. 1988). The presentation will comprise new acrylic paintings and mixed media sculptures from the artists.
Richard Koh Fine Art (RKFA) presented "Gestures of Landscape", a group exhibition comprising recent works by some of the most renowned Malaysian and Singaporean artists such as: Malaysians Justin Lim, Liu Hsin-Ying, Wong Perng Fey, Yeoh Choo Kuan, Zelin Seah and Singaporean artists Faris Nakamura and Melissa Tan. The exhibition presents works with shadows and landscape silhouettes of landscape, allowing viewers to see past preconceived notions of nature and creating new opportunities for understanding via the simplest atmosphere, mood, mind and pictorial means. The exhibition held from 6 to 28 May 2022 at the Richard Koh Fine Art gallery, Gillman Barracks, Singapore
"In Our Own Frame"
Last June 2022, Richard Koh Fine Art (RKFA) announced the release of "In Our Own Frame", a survey of contemporary painter Justin Lim's (b.1983) art practice. This luscious 304-page publication encapsulates each of the main phases of Lim's career, providing a taste of the artist's various stylistic idioms and subjects.
AHMAD ZAKII ANWAR
AWANG DAMIT AHMAD
WONG HOY CHEONG
MIN WAE AUNG
BOO SZE YANG
LIM TZE PENG
Contemporary South East Asian art, long unavailable on the international art market, has benefited from the extraordinary economic development of other Asian countries. The attention of collectors was drawn to the art and culture of these countries where they discovered great talents, a lot of diversity and reflection. Art Stage, the Singapore International Art Fair, is making a significant contribution to the contemporary art of East and South East Asia all over the world as well as the second largest Asian art fair, Art Basel Hong Kong.
LOEUM LORN is a contemporary Cambodian artist who makes artistic work from ice, he creates paintings, photographs, videos and performances.
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Loeum Lorn was born in 1983 in Battambang, Cambodia where he lives. He studied at the Visual Art, Phare Ponleu Selpak from which he graduated (2005).
Loeum Lorn's work is based on the use of ice, Loeum Lorn's work is based on the use of ice, a way to bridge the gap between his artistic work with spirituality and meditation. The artist explains that shortly after graduating from the Battambang Art School, he was invited to exhibit at the French Institute in Phnom Penh. He chose to paint a child surrounded by a block of ice: "I wanted to tell the public that the child was so cold and afraid to be surrounded by a cold environment". In fact the artist experienced the armed conflict in Cambodia as a child, which left him with chilling memories.
Loeum Lorn uses ice as a canvas, highlights its patterns with colors, and surrenders to its texture, its rhythms, its flow. He says: "Ice is really fascinating. It creates thousands of movements and colours when I apply ink, watercolour or dry colour to it. When it melts, it forms patterns. There is something unique and special about ice.
In her series Romhaur (2014), Loeum Lorn asks the question of our own nature. Who we are, what do we say to the deepest. He actually took pictures of the ice with a magnifying glass, then printed them on photo paper to observe the details more precisely.
The artist sees his art as a reflection of the impermanence and constant flow of life itself, seen through the prism of Buddhism. "My photographs are what remains, like a memory," "and I think that's the link between my work and the dharma" (Buddhist precept).
Loeum Lorn's works have been on permanent display in his gallery in Battambang since 2018. Previous solo exhibitions include: 2018 Romhaur, Littman + White Galleries, Portland, Oregon, Usa; 2014 Romhaur, Intercontinental, Phnom Penh; 2012 Yesterday, no more, Java Gallery, Phnom Penh Universal Law of Nature, Cambodian Youth Arts Festival, Phnom Penh; 2011 Cambodian Youth Arts Festival, Phnom Penh; 2010 Melting motions (Performance), Sihanouk Bld, Phnom Penh; 2009 Ice Color, Sa Sa Art Gallery, Phnom Penh; 2007 Installation and performance, Hotel de la Paix, Siem Reap.
The artist has also participated in group exhibitions: 2011 Bamboo Train, Institut Français, Phnom Penh Salon des créateurs, No Problem Park, Phnom Penh Angkor Art Explo Festival, Siem Reap, Cambodia; 2010 Nine Faces, Meta House, Phnom Penh; 2009 Root'Arts, Halles des Chartrons, Bordeaux, France.
Three artworks from Loeum Lorn's Yesterday No More series were purchased by the Singapore Art Museum in 2020.
Loeum Lorn is also the founder and manager of Tep Kao Sol Gallery since 2016.
YIM MALINE is a young Cambodian contemporary artist. She uses several media: drawings, sculptures, installations and videos. "Yim Maline's drawings show a recomposition after or before a tragic event," says Lee gallery's owner Yves Zlotowski.
Yim Maline was born in 1982 in Battambang. She studied art in France at the École des Beaux-Arts de Beauvais and then at the École Supérieure des Beaux-arts, Caen la mer, in 2010 where she obtained a BFA. She completed her training at the Phare Ponleu Selpak Art School in Battambang. She lives and works in Siem Reap, near Angkor.
Yim Maline evokes in her work her childhood memories or works on the process of transformation of emotions. She uses drawing and makes sculptural installations, perhaps in a process of personal reconstruction. The dark side of her work has to do with the lack of freedom in her daily life. In 2013, while in residence for two months at Bose Pacia in New York City, she worked on her difficult memories of her childhood, which was affected by the civil war in Cambodia.
The artist is drawn to organic forms, images of a nature that is both fantasized and threatened. Her work is inhabited by the feeling of a cohabitation between a powerful, attractive nature (the strange, often green plants in these drawings), celebrated by the imagination and its very disappearance, explained Lee Gallery, which exhibited her in spring 2017, in Paris.
In the absence of local reference figures, Yim Maline sought her inspiration abroad, drawing on artists such as Kiki Smith for monochromes, Pierre Soulages for abstraction or Anselm Keifer.
Yim Maline exhibited with another major Cambodian artist, Svay Sareth, "A Home Lost and Found", at the newly opened Batia Sarem Gallery in Siem Reap, from 15 December 2018 to 16 March 2019. Both artists focused on the same subject: that of the Home, threatened or even destroyed, but which one strives to preserve, protect, rebuild. Yim Maline presented a new series of drawings entitled 'Décompositions Colorées'. Yim Maline's 'Foyer' is a dreamed of, fantasised about but also threatened garden.
Yim Maline already had several solo exhibitions, the most recent being "The Shadow of Change" in 2019, Richard Koh Fine Art Gallery, Singapore
SOPHEAP PICH is considered the most internationally renowned contemporary Cambodian artist. He creates sculptures - between abstraction and representation - from rattan and bamboo, using a traditional weaving technique. On 26 November 2017, at Christie's HK (Asian Contemporary Art), Sopheap Pich sold a work "Maroon Floor Relief" for 20,825 USD.
Sopheap Pich was born in Battambang, Cambodia in 1971. Fleeing the Khmer Rouge regime, he moved with his family to the United States in 1984. He received his BFA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (1995), and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1999). He returned to his native country in 2002.
Sopheap Pich started his artistic work with painting. Upon returning to Cambodia in 2002, he found his medium in sculpture; he began working with local materials such as bamboo, rattan, jute bags, beeswax and mineral pigments to create sculptures inspired by plant forms, body organs and abstract geometric structures. His work can also allude to the repressive Khmer Rouge regime as in 'Morning Glory' - acquired by the Guggenheim Museum NY in 2011 - where the artist shows a common plant that has become an important source of food for an often hungry population. "As an artist who was born in Cambodia, who lived during the Khmer Rouge period and as a refugee afterwards, it is obvious to me that these experiences are reflected in my work," said Sopheap Pich. However, he added: "People often associate my work with memories of the Khmer Rouge, but I make works that are related to many things, both known and unknown. My sculptures cannot easily be categorised. Sopheap Pich's sculptures are subtle, refined and emotional at the same time.
In March 2015, at Art Basel Hong Kong, he presented a series of 'Wall Structures', consisting of scaffolding, fencing and works that included carved stone for the first time.
For the exhibition "Expanses", at the Tyler Rollins Fine Art in New York in 2018, Sopheap Pich had created a new group of works on paper that gave a feeling of lightness and expansion that contrasted with the monumentality of their form. Here he continued the trajectory traced by his drawings at the 2017 Venice Biennale, developing greater compositional complexities and scale monumentality.
Sopheap Pich's work has been shown in numerous exhibitions and biennials in Asia, Europe, Australia and the USA. In 2015, he participated in an exhibition entitled, 'The Art of Our Time: Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collections' at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. In 2013, he had a solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, as part of the Cambodia Festival.
Sopheap Pich's latest solo exhibitions include: in 2020, "Les Déambulations artistiques / Art in the Park", Amabassade de France au Cambodge, Phnom Penh.
Sopheap Pich participated in the group exhibition "Homo Faber: Craft in Contemporary Sculpture", organised by the Asia Cultural Center in Gwangju, South Korea in 2020; in 2019 in the group exhibition "Sunshower: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now", Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts and Mori Art Museum, Taiwan.
Sopheap Pich Exhibitions Biography
LEANG SECKON is one of cambodia's best-known contemporary artists. He combines ancient Khmer narratives with Cambodia's current concerns such as the country's rapid development, environmental degradation and its past as the brutal Khmer Rouge regime.
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Leang Seckon was born in the early 70s in Prey Veng province. He graduated from the Royal University of Fine Arts, BA in Design (2002) and the Royal University of Fine Arts, Bachelor Degree in Plastic Arts (1996).
While Leang Seckon speaks of poverty, power, the environment, spirituality and capitalism in his work, he is also an extroverted character who willingly sings and dances. In a 2013 exhibition in Singapore, he presented a series - a mixture of collages and paintings - inspired by the death of King Norodom Sihanouk. This was criticised by some in the art world for being a tribute and not as critical as his other work. But for Leang Seckon, as for many Cambodians of his age, the life and death of the monarch marked important chapters in his life. Moreover, he said, there is a great demand for prints of these paintings. In 2014, at Asia House in London, the artist presented paintings, collages and videos that focused on his experiences and memories of the Khmer Rouge period and the subsequent civil war. He used sacred texts and Buddhist legends for his demonstration and illustrations. In his work "the elephant and the pond of blood" (2013), he also referred to a Buddhist verse well known to Cambodians: the elephant is decorated with flowers to look like a royal elephant, the passengers are a tiger and a dog, they represent stupid people who kill millions of other people. Blood flows in the field where the elephants walk.
The title of his exhibition at Rossi & Rossi Gallery in September 2017, "Head and Body Unite", referred to the recent repatriations of ancient stone statues to Cambodia, and serves as a unifying metaphor for Cambodia's salvation after the wars and the Khmer Rouge. "Dead and Reborn Again" (2016) depicts a sculpture of the seventh-century god Harihara, whose head was repatriated from France in January 2016 to be reunited with the body. His painting "Tonle Sap River Circulates and Reverses Flow " (2017), three and a half meters high, brings together the artist's influences. At the top left, a royal pavilion, temples of Angkor. At the bottom of the politicians of the 1960s, King Sihanouk, Shariamn Mao, General de Gaulle and Jacqueline Kennedy. On the right, there is a vast landscape, in which there are stories about the resilience of the Cambodian people able to fight against the current.
The Rossi & Rossi Gallery in Hong Kong presented from May 21 to July 9, 2022 "Growing Wings" by Leang Seckon which condensed the significant changes that have occurred in Cambodia in compositions mixed with myths of Khmer folklore. Social media symbols also frequently appear in his paintings, as well as the indispensable Wi-Fi logo, or rather, as the artist says, the "Wi-Fi god." It was the fourth exhibition of the artist in the gallery.
Ing PhouSéra, better known as SERA, is a contemporary French-Cambodian artist. He expresses himself in sculpture, drawing, painting, engraving and graphic novels. The artist was bruised by the Cambodian genocide, which occupies a large part of his work. His history is intrinsically linked to that of Cambodia.
Séra was born in Phnom Penh in 1961. When the Khmer Rouge invaded Phnom Penh on April 17, 1975, he and his French mother took refuge in the French embassy and were allowed to leave the country for France. His father was killed by the Khmer Rouge.
Séra has a Master's degree and a DEA in Arts and Art Sciences, option Plastic Arts, from Paris Panthéon-Sorbonne (1985-1987). He has been a lecturer in comics at the Sorbonne since 1989, and has also been a lecturer in visual narration (storyboarding) at the CNED-Institut de Vanves since 1997. He is also the pedagogical director of the Phare Ponleu Selpak school in Battambang, Cambodia since 2012. Since 1999, he has also directed the Memory Workshops at the Bophana Audiovisual Resource Centre.
From comics to sculpture to painting, Séra is an artist of memory. In many of his comics, he talks about the capture of Phnom Penh, flight, fear, his questions and his history as in "Impasse et rouge" (1995), 'Water and Earth' (2005), or Tomorrows of Ashes (2007). Similarly in his graphic novel 'Bitter Cucumbers' (2015), he still recounts the capture of Cambodia by the Khmers.
On 19 September 2018, Séra published a new graphic novel entitled "Bitter Cucumbers. The roots of a tragedy. Cambodia 1967-1975" (prefaced by Tardi) (Editions Marabout). This story tells, from the 60s, the tragic rise that will lead to the Khmer genocide, from the flight of Prince Sihanouk in 1969 to the capture of Phnom Penh on 17 April 1975.
But Séra also creates large-scale paintings and drawings. If the framework of her creations remains the suffering endured by "her country", his works can be read freely, differently. His works, very graphic, are also a mixture of the influence of the artist's two countries, Cambodia and France.
Séra's latest exhibition: Terre de Mémoire - Bandes Dessinées, at Musée Quesnel-Morinière, in Coutances, France, in Octobre 2021.
SWAY SARETH. Richard Koh Fine Art (RKFA) presented "Wings of Throne" by the Cambodian artist Svay Sareth from 1 to 23 April 2022 in Singapore. It consists of eight pairs of colourful sculptures in the shape of camouflage dragon wings, made of cotton, kapok and nylon. It is said that the current ruling monarch is often supported by wings that allow a dragon to fly through Cambodia's forty-five year history. Using elements of satire along with his own choice of materials, the artist presents the dilemma and diorama of a post-war dream of artistic freedom.
Svay Sareth is a contemporary Cambodian artist, born in 1972 in Battambang. His work explores the links between Cambodia's past, present and future. He developed his interest in art when he was in a refugee camp in Thailand. He then continued his studies in France. Svay Sareth uses art as a form of catharsis, a means of reflection and a way to find hope. He uses different media ranging from sculpture to installations. He uses cotton, wood or metal.
MARISA DARASAWATH is considered one of the major artists of Laos.
Marisa Darasawath was born in 1972 and grew up in Vientiane. She graduated from Laos' National Institute of Fine Arts (2008).
Marisa Darasavath has always been passionate about art, including Japanese comics and drawing. She makes large colourful paintings, showing Lao women at their daily tasks such as coconut scraping and weaving as seen in her Untitled Series, made in 2013. She was discovered by chance by Michael Chan - who owns the M Gallery in Vientiane and Singapore - during a trip to Laos to study contemporary art in 2007. He will have her exhibited in Singapore and Laos. "If you see her work on the internet or in books, her paintings look bland," said Ms. Heuangsoukkhoun, one of the curators of the Singapore Biennale in 2013, "but if you see the works themselves, you see that she has her own imagination about the world and the people around her. Indeed, unlike most other countries in Southeast Asia, political and social factors have not played a major role in Laos. "There is still a very strong sense of self-control," explained Mr Khairuddin Hori, director at the Palais de Tokyo. That's why the art is completely traditional.
Solo exhibitions by Marisa Darasavath: 2019 "IDYLLIC-Laos in Colour", National Institute of Fine Arts, Vientiane, Laos. In July 2010, the M Gallery already organised a solo exhibition of Marisa Darasavath in Vientiane, entitled 'Bond', in which she presented a series of unique and somewhat provocative works that combined Western and traditional techniques and showed monks, women, mothers and children in entangled postures and strong colours. Marisa Darasavath focuses her work on the female figure. 'Bond' was about love and brought out the innermost emotionality of this shy artist. In April 2015, she was the only Laotian artist represented in the exhibition organised by the Musée d'art contemporain de Lyon, in collaboration with the National Heritage Board of Singapore, dedicated to the art of South East Asia, "Open Sea", until 12 July.
MICK SAYLOM is a young contemporary artist, among the most renowned in Laos.
Mick Saylom was born in 1977 in Huoaphan, Laos. He graduated from the National Institute of Fine Arts (NIFA) in Vientiane.
Mick Saylom is both a painter and an art teacher. He finds his inspiration in a certain social disenchantment, existential and urban loneliness, and people's daily lives. He is a versatile artist who tries out all techniques and influences. For example, he has created works inspired by Indonesian painting such as illustrations, influenced by advertising imagery, or murals in temples illustrating the life of Buddha. In his series "Eat Man Eat", he shows the simple act of eating to make his concerns about consumerism and consumption habits.
"Singular, is the path of this artist who has travelled a little outside his country and who obviously seeks to make a living from his art, an art that takes place in the midst of multiple and sometimes antagonistic sources, between a real indigenous expression and a pastiche," commented Michèle-Baj Strobel in 2014 in the context of an article devoted to contemporary creation in Laos.
Mick Saylom has participated in major exhibitions, workshops, seminars. His latest solo exhibitions include: in 2015 'The stroke of a pen', Ban Naxay House of Culture, Laos; in 2014, Ban Naxay House of Culture; in 2011 'In between the Lines' M Gallery, Singapore, "Voices", M Gallery Singapore. The artist has also participated in group exhibitions in Singapore: in 2013 "Allure", M Gallery; in 2012 'Crosswinds' M Gallery.
The artist is permanently exhibited at the M Gallery in Vientiane.
He was also in residence in Bali, Indonesia, in 2007 and three months in residence in Singapore in 2011.
In 2018, Mick Saylom participated in the group exhibition 'Maskgroup of Artists', National Institute of Fine Arts, Vientiane.
Mick Saylom's works are part of national and international collections, both public and private, including the National Art Gallery, Singapore.
SIVILAY SOUVANNASING is one of Laos' leading contemporary artists.
Sivilay Souvannasing was born in 1983 in Savannakhet, Laos. He graduated from the National Institute of Fine Arts in Vientiane.
Sivilay Souvannasing was born in an agricultural environment in the south of Laos and was initially inspired by his natural environment, the rice fields. Having become an urbanite, and having travelled abroad for exhibitions or residencies, he then grasped the contrast between what he had experienced and his present. This led to an 8-week residency at the M Gallery in Singapore, which in 2012 led to the exhibition 'Emotions', in which he highlighted his concerns about urbanisation and the destruction of the natural environment. In the exhibition 'Currents - A moving landscape', in 2016, Sivilay Souvannasing demonstrated a more introspective style, developing a new language to express his ongoing struggle with the degradation of urban conditions and to show the fragility of their coexistence with nature. For this series, he created abstract landscapes in which a real current of energy flows. Early in his career, Sivilay Souvannasing was influenced by the style of May Chandavong and Picasso.
The artist also paints the Hmong ethnic group (living in Laos), showing people in their daily life, walking and dancing. His paintings are made of strong brushstrokes, in strong and brilliant colours.
Sivilay Souvannasing's works are widely exhibited in Laos, Thailand and Singapore; they are also part of private and institutional collections at the international level, among them the National Art Gallery (Singapore).
He is represented by the M Gallery of Vientiane and Singapore.
Recent solo exhibitions include: 2016 'Currents – A moving landscape' by Sivilay Souvannasing at the EY Gallery, Singapore; 2012 'Emotions', M Gallery Singapore; 2010 'Layered brilliance', M Gallery Singapore.
The artist has also participated in several group exhibitions, the most recent of which: 2018 'Maskgroup of Artists', National Institute of Fine Arts, Vientiane; 2015 'Art of Asean – Our exhibition', Bank Negara Malaysia Museum and Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur; Art exhibition at National Institute of Fine Arts, Vientiane; 2014 'Mosaic: A Lao art collective', M Gallery Vientiane, 'We are Lao: Contemporary art in Lao Today', Art Trove in collaboration with M Gallery Singapore; 'A joint exhibition by Lao and Thai artists, National Institute of Fine Arts, Vientiane ; 2013 Motives and movements, organized by Embassy of the Republic of Philippines at M Gallery, Vientiane, A traveling group exhibition by Lao and Vietnamese artists held in Hanoi and Vientiane ; 2012 'The lure of Mekong', M Gallery Singapore, Asean art exhibition, Thailand.
Ahmad Zakii Anwar
AHMAD ZAKII ANWAR, also known as "Zakii", is one of Malaysia's most internationally renowned contemporary artists. Since 2006, the price of his works has increased 100-fold. "Red Legong" (2004) by Ahmad Zakii Anwar sold for RM100,800 (Us$24,314,289) at Henry Butcher's Art Auctioneers (HBAA) in February 2021.
Ahmad Zakii Anwar was born in 1955. He is one of the first of his generation to graduate from the School of Art and Design at the MARA Institute of Technology in Malaysia. He started working as a designer, then in advertising where he produced some of the most engaged advertising creations at the time. From there, he asserted himself in the field of fine arts.
Ahmad Zakii Anwar's work is easily recognisable by his highly graphic realistic portraits in which he uses both charcoal and oil paint. His early works refer to traditional masks, but more recently he has produced male nudes that combine strength and introspection. "It's painting the body from the inside out," says the artist. Ahmad Zakii Anwar also broke away from mainstream art in Malaysia by leaving Kuala Lumpur at the age of 32 to return to the hills where he grew up, in Johor Bahru.
In his latest exhibition "Lust for Life" in New York at Sapar Gallery in September-October 2019, Ahmad Zakii Anwar presented his Body Series, along with new still lifes - fruits and vegetables - skillfully revisited by the artist.
Ahmad Zakii Anwar is also a social activist within the art community. In 1994, he founded Life Zone, which was one of the first shelters for AIDS patients. Activism is a family tradition, as Ahmad Zakii Anwar's father, Haji Anwar bin Abdul Malik, was a prominent politician.
Ahmad Zakii Anwar is recognized throughout Southeast Asia but also in the United States, Japan, Germany and Australia. His work is highly sought after by collectors, galleries and art spaces in the region.
Since 2000, Ahmad Zakii Anwar has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions. Some of the most recent: 2019 "Ahmad Zakii Anwar: Lust for Life", Sapar Contemporary, New York (September-October 2019).
Ahmad Zakii Anwar is represented and exhibited by Baik Art in Los Angeles,USA. Ahmad Zakii Anwar most recent exhibition at Baik Art was « FIVE », from 21 June 2019 until 09 August 2019.
Awang Damit Ahmad
AWANG DAMIT AHMAD is a painter of abstraction. He is one of the most recognized contemporary artists in Malaysia. With sales of $239,209, he was ranked 452nd in Artprice's ranking (sales revenue) of the art market worldwide in 2016/2017.
Many of the artist's works sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong 'Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings' including Garis Mega (Raga Series) (2008) for $77,352 and Perjalanan Utara: Kinkir Pun Mula Sepi (a journey to the North: even the beginning of all things start with silence) (2010) from the Iraga series for HKD 437,500, in 2014. His work 'Alun Alun Kemarista' (2000) sold at Christies Hong Kong for $22,670 in 2014. On 12 November 2017, an abstract work by the artist (1988) sold for RM110,000 ($26,568) at the Malysia and South East Asian Art Auction at Prima NSTP Gallery.
Awang Damit Ahmad was born in Kuala Penyu, Sabah, Malaysia, in 1956. Trained in technology, he first worked at Telekom Malaysia. In 1979 he joined Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) where he studied at the School of Art and Design and graduated in 1983. He continued his studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. where he obtained his MFA (1990). He returned to Malaysia in 1999 and in 2000 was appointed Associate Professor at UiTM after serving as Head of the Fine Arts Department. He currently lives in Sijangkang, Teluk Panglima Garang.
Awang Damit Ahmad started painting in 1975 and produced his first series in those first 10 years. His experience of poverty and the work of his father, a fisherman and farmer, are his major inspirations. The colour grey remains the most sacred and most important because it represents a message of hope. The artist mixes colours (acrylic or oil) and materials such as sand to give her paintings an appearance of thickness.
While studying in the United States, Awang Damit Ahmad joined art collectives such as the Arlington Art Group and Capitol Hill. The abstract expressionist teacher Tom Nakashima was a great influence on him. Back in Malaysia, he made his highly acclaimed series Marista (2002) and Iraga (2011).
One of his paintings 'Nyanyian Petani Gunung' won the 1991 Salon Malaysia Award - one of the most prestigious awards in Malaysia. The Petronas Gallery - established in 1993 by the Malaysian multinational company Petronas in Kuala Lumpur to promote art and culture - has purchased some of his works including the one mentioned above.
For his latest works in Galeri Prima in March 2021, Awang Damit Ahmad drew inspiration from the Japanese military science fiction media franchise, Gundam. His 10th solo exhibition titled "From Payarama to Garismega: 2013-2020" primarily featured works that juxtaposes the schematic and geomatric shapes of these robot anime characters with natural settings. Out of the 57 paintings in the exhibition, 46 of them come under the "Garismega" category inspired by the Japanese science fiction art.
The artist's most recent solo exhibitions: 2021 "From Payarama to Garismega: 2013-2020", Galeri Prima, Balai Berita Bangsar, Malaysia (10th exhibition of the artist in the gallery); 2017, Garis Mega... Art Stage Singapore; 2014 'Dari Iraga Ke Payarama' (2003-2014), Segaris Art Center, Kuala Lumpur.
A solo exhibition dedicated to the artist at the National Art Gallery of Malaysia in 2002 "Alun-alun Ke Marista", brought together 70 oil paintings made between 1996 and 2002.
Wong Hoy Cheong
WONG HOY CHEONG is the most internationally known contemporary Malaysian artist. He is a conceptual artist who works with drawing, photography, painting, video, performance and film.
Wong Hoy Cheong is represented by Eslite Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan.
Wong Hoy Cheong was born in Penang in 1960. He studied at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Usa, where he received a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) (Painting) (1986). He was also honoured by the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Creative Fellowship in 2011. He lives and works in Kuala Lumpur.
Wong Hoy Cheong began with a multimedia presentation in 1989 called 'Sook Ching (Purge), which included a dance choreography. He then moved into digital technology: video, photography and installations. During the 1990s, he became interested in the ramifications of human migration, race and colonisation.
Wong Hoy Cheong questions all forms of colonisation and imperialism, domination and submission. His film Doghole (2010) - purchased by the Guggenheim Museum - explores the Japanese occupation of pre-independent Malaysia during World War II and beyond. After painting 'The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie' in 1991, mocking the mannerism of the nouveau riche, Wong Hoy Cheong turned to a new medium and made large canvases with charcoal, collage on paper and photocopytransfer (Migrants & Rubber Trees). In 2009 'Days of our lives' comprised a series of 6 photographs exploring European identity today. In these images, the artist used scenes from the daily life in French paintings from the Musée des Beaux Arts in Lyon, to depict migrant populations from former British colonies: Nigerian Muslims, Turks and Burmese. Adapting popular images of mother and child - as for example in Fantin Latour's 'Reading' (1877) - Wong Hoy Cheong shows the apparent change in ordinary life in Europe while highlighting the dark cultural histories of marginalised communities elsewhere in the world.
Among Wong Hoy Cheong's recent works, shown in the exhibition organized by Gallery Eslite at Art Basel HK in 2018, was "UnCover" (2015), originally commissioned by the Ural Industrial Biennial. His installation referred to the relationship between space and hierarchy. By choosing the manhole covers at politically active locations, he uses photographs and wax friction to represent the images under and above the evacuation plates, revealing parallel worlds that refer to each other.
AUNG KO is a contemporary Burmese painter. In addition to painting, he also creates installations. His work is mainly based on "community art". In 2006, he founded the "Thu Ye Dan Art Project", a creative centre to improve the living conditions of the inhabitants of his native village, where he has already attracted many of Burma's best known artists.
PROFILE OF THE ARTIST
Aung Ko was born in Htone Boo in 1980. He studied painting at the University of Culture in Yangon from which he graduated (2002). He lives and works in Yangon.
Aung Ko's favourite themes are his childhood memories and the rural culture of his village, Thuye'dan, located in the north of Myanmar, in the centre of which flows the Irrawaddy River, a unique experience for him. For his installations he uses materials that he transforms, reuses, rearranges, often associating several mediums. Among these, wood, bamboo, fishing nets, etc., which makes the works accessible to the villagers. He spent 8 months in France, in Paris, to prepare the exhibition "The Secret Archipelago" at the Palais de Tokyo, in 2015.
In 2013, he made a series of golden sculptures including the one entitled "Onward": five men representing the people most involved in the establishment of the reform process. These men are beautiful with their golden skin but they are also naked, an exposure not well tolerated in the Burmese society.
In 2015, he made small colorful wooden sculptures integrated into a tree, a work entitled "Padauk Tree", Vent des Forêts, in collaboration with an artisan sculptor, Jean Bergeron. In 2016, he presented 35 acrylic paintings dedicated to the Ayarwady River in a solo exhibition at the Pansuriya Art Gallery in Yangon.
Aung Ko had his first solo exhibition in Yangon in 2004: 'Aung Ko's Art Work Solo Show', Azada Gallery, Yangon.
His solo exhibitions include: in 2016 Aung Ko "Shimmering Ayarwady", Pansuriya, Art gallery, Yangon; in 2013 Solo Exhibition, River Gallery, Strand Hotel, Yangon; in 2011 The Organizer of Thu Ye Dan Event, Village Art Project, 2nd Solo Show, Aung Ko's Village by Aung Ko (Myanmar), Esplanade Presents Visual Arts, (Visual Art Space).
The artist has also been the subject of solo exhibitions abroad such as: in 2022, Diary" at A2Z Art Gallery Paris ; in 2015 'Tales of my Village', Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan; in 2014 Afterimage, Galleria Civica di Trento, Trento, Italy; in 2013 'Breakfast with my Enemy', Primo Marella Gallery, Milan, Italy.
Aung Ko exhibited with Burmese artist Nge Lay at the Gallery Children's Biennale 2019: Embracing Wonder, The Other Wall, from May 25 to December 29, 2019 at the National Gallery of Singapore. The exhibition featured traditional Burmese wooden toys, woodcuts and other objects, with the aim of sharing the stories of Myanmar folklore.
Aung Ko participates in group exhibitions: in 2022, "S.E.A. Calling", Primo Marella Gallery, Milano ; 2017 'Artist Beyond Boundaries', The American Center, Yangon; in 2016 'Beyond the Source', PUN+Project, Gothe Villa, Yangon, Myanmar; 10/10 Anniversary Exhibitions, River Gallery, Yangon; in 2015 "Open sea", an exhibition dedicated to the contemporary art scene of Southeast Asia, at the MAC in Lyon, "The Secret Archipelago", exhibition exploring Southeast Asia from Singapore, at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris (March-May 2015), Art Stage Singapore in 2014, Deep Sea, Group Show, Guggenheim, Italy in 2013, "Riverscapes IN FLUX" Goethe Institue, Hanoi, in 2012 Blue Frogs, Group Art Exhibition, Dagaung Art Gallery, Yangon.
AUNG MYINT is an artist considered a pioneer in experimental art in Myanmar and also one of the most famous contemporary Burmese artists.
Aung Myint was born in 1946 in Yangon where he lives. The artist graduated from Rangoon Arts and Science University (Psychology)) (1968). As a self-made artist, his early works were semi-abstract in the cubist style, made from materials obtained from the British and American embassies. In 1989 he was a founding member of the Inya Gallery, which provides a space for artists to express themselves and share ideas, and he moved away from traditional romanticism to address social issues using a multidisciplinary art practice including performance and installation. The artist has been engaged for decades.
Aung Myint is best known for his abstract paintings and his signature colour palette of black, white and red. From the 1990s onwards his style evolved, however, with the use of broad brushstrokes to create splashes or drips of paint that are very reminiscent of the work of Jackson Pollock. He was also inspired by other post-war American New York School painters such as de Kooning for his tortured faces. He made a photographic series 'Self Portrait' again in the 90s. Then he returned to Burmese painting for inspiration. In a series entitled 'World Series: Five Continents Tattered' in 2010, he fills the bottom of a painting with images of Edward Munch's scream as effigies of the Buddha may appear on the temples of Bagan.
Over the years he has also developed his own language, incorporating the line associated with Burmese scripture and sacred art, to make non-figurative paintings. His monochromatic drawings of mother and child have their roots in the sense of loss and abandonment felt after the death of his mother as a child. The theme of mother and child is recurrent in his work. Aung Myint was the first Burmese artist to be awarded the ASEAN Art Awards in Bali in 2002 by the Philip Morris Group jury with 9 paintings from his "Mother and Child" series, the forms of which may be more or less reminiscent of the Pieta.
In his exhibition at TS.1 Gallery in Rangoon titled '14 A.M.', Aung Myint presented his Series of 18 paintings called 'Faces', completed in 2013 and 2014 in which he offers a reflection on the trauma of a changing population opening up to the world for the first time in decades.
In his 2017 exhibition at Myanm/art gallery in Yangon entitled 'Expedition', Aung Myint experimented with colour and texture.
HTEIN LIN is a contemporary Burmese artist who is well known in his country and abroad. He produces paintings, videos, installations and performances. He has also been an actor.
Artist Htein Lin was born in Ingapu, Ayeyarwady Division, in 1966. He studied law: he graduated from Yangon University (Bachelor of Laws, 1995). He returned to Burma in July 2013 after living in London from 2006 to 2013. Htein Lin was indeed arrested in 1998, accused of opposition to the regime, he remained in prison from 1998 to 2004. He lives and works in Yangon.
Htein Lin's major inspiration is Buddhism, whose themes, stories and philosophy he incorporates into his art. His return to Myanmar has had an impact on his work that has led him to a reconnection with the community. His creativity is indeed based on community and collaboration.
Htein Lin has already had two solo exhibitions in 1996 and 1997. He pioneered performance art in Myanmar in 1996, which he pursued with prisoners. Many of his performances aim to raise awareness of the political situation in Burma. During the period 2006-2011, the artist has performed in the UK and Thailand, at the Library of Congress (2009), at festivals and events in Finland, France, the Philippines, Japan, Malaysia and Bangladesh.
"Show of hands", is a project for which Htein Lin worked with more than 400 former political prisoners to make a cast of their hands and arms and tell their stories.
Htein Lin is also inspired by his personal experience, his family and friends. Two works pay tribute to her parents: Monument to My Mother (2015) and Monument to My Father (2015-16). His father died in 2001 while he was in prison.
Traditional objects are present in Htein Lin's work as a testimony to what has been abandoned with the arrival of consumer society and its new habits.
Since 2007, Htein Lin has had several solo exhibitions: 2022 "Another Spring", Richard Koh Fine Art (RKFA) Singapore; 2019 Htein Lin: A Show of Hands, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NT State; 2017 'Htein Lin: Recovering the Past', Yavuz Gallery, Singapore; 2016 'Picking up the Pieces, Goethe-Institut', Yangon, Myanmar, 'Sign of the Times', River Gallery, Yangon; 2015 'The Storyteller', curated by Nathalie Johnston, Goethe-Institut, Yangon, 'Happyland', Tasneem Gallery, Barcelona, Spain ; 2014 'Beyond the Itch', River Gallery, Yangon; 2011 'Htein Lin', North Wall Arts Centre, Oxford, UK; 2009 'Missing Asia, Observing Europe', Tasneem Gallery, Barcelona, Spain; 2008 'The Cell', Karin Weber Gallery, Hong Kong, 'Out of Burma', Quest Gallery, Bath, UK; 'Recycled', Coningsby Gallery, London, UK, 'Htein Lin: Serial No. 00235', Museo del Carcere Le Nuove, Turin, Italy; 2007 'Burma Inside Out', Asia House, London, UK.
Htein Lin has also participated in numerous group exhibitions since 2011, most recently: 2018 'Dahka Art Summit, Bangladesh; 2017 'After Darkness: Southeast Asian Art in the Wake of History, Asia Society New York, 'Yangon Made My Heart Beat Fast: New Contemporary Art from Myanmar', Karin Weber Gallery, HK
Min Wae Aung
MIN WAE AUNG is an internationally recognised contemporary Burmese artist and very likely the most famous Burmese painter. The record price for a work by the artist sold at auction in recent years,was USD 11,950 for "Dusty Journey"(1994), sold at Christie's HK in 2018.
Min Wae Aung was born in 1960 in Danubyu, Myanmar. He studied portraiture and landscape at the State School of Fine Arts in Yangon. He then worked as a commercial graphic designer. He developed his definitive style after a stay in the United States in 1993.
The artist is particularly known for his depictions of Buddhist monks and nuns performing their daily rites, on a subtly worked background, in the gilded ones. In most of his paintings, the faces are lined with black, which gives them a kind of aura. Min Wae Aung expresses through his characters all the essence of the Burmese soul in its spiritual dimension. One can feel in front of his works a feeling of serenity and peace. In his latest paintings, he continued to explore the power and energy of groups, particularly to defend a common cause. Travel is also a recurring theme for him: if we refer to his previous series 'Thinking of People on the Road', Min Wae Aung has developed his subject to focus on those who use their feet to travel.
Several of the artist's works 'paintings of old Buddhist monks' sold for $20,000 at Bay East Auctions 'The Art & Book Sale' in 2012, in Hong Kong, or in London and Paris. Min Wae Aung owns a collection of ancient painters that he calls "Old Burmese Masters", and plans to create a gallery to house them near his studio in Yangon.
The artist also paints landscapes or scenes of everyday life in Burma, made in watercolor or acrylic.
Min Wae Aung has had over 50 exhibitions worldwide to date. He was exhibited for the 6th time in London in October 2016, 'The Journey Begins', an exhibition co-hosted by the Millennium Hotel Mayfair and Tanya Baxter Contemporary Art Gallery.
Other solo exhibitions include: in 2019, Min Wae Aung, South Asian Art Gallery, Boston, Usa; in 2018 Min Wae Aung - Watercolor Solo show, New Treasure Art Gallery;in 2014, Min Wae Aung "Travellers; in 2013, Min Wae Aung, Asia Fine Art Gallery, San Francisco; in 2010 "Golden Heritage" Solo Exhibition, Asia Fine Art Limited, in association with Wan Fung Art Gallery, Shanghai ; in 2009 "Another Journey to Asia" Solo Exhibition, Global Art Source (Contemporary Art Advisement), in association with Art-St-Urban, Lucerne, Switzerland, "May the Road Rise with you" Solo Exhibition, Kings Road Gallery, London, "Min Wae Aung - "Portraits" Solo Exhibition, Karin Weber Gallery, Hong Kong.
Min Wae Aung also participates in numerous group exhibitions:
Min Wae Aung's work can be found in private collections around the world as well as in the Singapore Art Museum, Standard Chartered Bank in Hong Kong, Nation Museum in Myanmar and Fukuoka Art Museum in Japan.
NGE LAY is a Burmese contemporary artist. She is considered one of the most promising conceptual artists in Southeast Asia. She was a finalist for the Sovereign Asian Art Prize 2011.
PROFILE OF THE ARTIST
Nge Lay was born in 1979 in Pyin Oo Lwin, Myanmar. She graduated from the National University of Art and Culture (2003) and Yangon East University (Bachelor degree in economics). She also trained in jewelry design. She currently lives in Yangon.
Nge Lay uses different media such as painting, sculpture and more recently photography. The artist focuses mainly on subjects related to the people of Myanmar, referring to her personal experiences, those of her childhood. She reflects concerns about gender issues, gender discrimination, and the lack of freedom in her country. She states, "In today's Burmese society, gender discrimination in our daily life and work environment is not as strong as before. However, due to deep-seated conventions and economic and political imbalances, the role of women has still not been recognized despite the fact that an icon like Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is more powerful than any man.
Death is often present in Nge Lay's work. In addition to the specters of the past, revived in her "Endless Story" series, she embodies her deceased father in a series of performances and photographs entitled "Pertinence of Restricted Things" (2010). "Endless Story"-about the passing of time-is a series of photographs begun in 2012 in Yangon.
For the photo exhibition at Myanmar Contemporary Art in late 2016, Nge Lay presented forgotten boxes, discovered in an old car parked near a family member's house. They contained traces of her own family's past, particularly on her mother's side. Her series of photographs, entitled The Gate, played with positive and negative formats, including stamps and words like 'expired, cancelled, used'.
She also presented a sculpture, "The Gate," the door, the vagina." The vagina is the most important part of a woman's life. It defines her identity, her gender, her roles, and therefore it also defines the people around her. We pass through our mother's door, so the sculpture should be seen as Mother Nature," Nge Lay said in December 2016.
Nge Lay is also invested in the project developed with her husband, Aung Ko, the "Thu Ye Dan Art Project," in the north of the country. Her installation, "The Sick Classroom" is the culmination of years of research in local schools and communities. She uses this work to advocate for equal educational opportunities for children in both urban and rural settings. The photographs in her 'Endless story' series are portrait-photocollages, dating from the 1930s to the 1970s. They respond to his research on the relationship between traditional styles and modernity.
In 2012 Nge Lay also made a series of photographs called 'Futuristic Women', depicting women in cosmonaut outfits.
In her installation, "Flying in the Fragmentary," at Yavuz Gallery in Singapore in July 2018, Nge Lay wanted to show the precariousness of life that is literally and metaphorically above our heads. Her multimedia installation consisted of Myanmar student uniforms, school bags and textbooks, rattan, chalkboards, black slate pencils, iron, and videos of varying sizes. Nge Lay continued her artistic collaboration with the community of Thuye'dan village.
For the second time, in 2020, his work Endless Story # Jogja 2 (2019) was selected for the Sovereign Asian Art Prize.
Since 2002, Nge Lay has participated in numerous exhibitions in Myanmar. Her photographic works have been shown in several art projects since 2009: in Singapore, Korea and Vietnam. She was exhibited at the International Orange Photo Festival in Changsha, China in 2010, SIPF NOMAD, 20th Noorderlicht Photo Festival, Old Sugar Factor, Groningen, Netherlands in 2013.
"Flying in the Fragmentary" was Nge Lay's first solo exhibition in Singapore in June-July 2018 at Yavuz Gallery. She was also exhibiting - in collaboration with her husband Aung Ko - "The Other Wall", as part of Gallery Children's Biennale 2019: Embracing Wonder, at the National Gallery of Singapore.
Nge Lay presented Printemps 21 at A2Z Art Gallery Paris, France, May 12 to June 4, 2022
Boo Sze Yang
BOO SZE YANG is a Singaporean painter known for his broad brush strokes. He is not bound to any tradition or style.
Boo Sze Yang was born in 1965 in Singapore where he currently lives. After graduating from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) (1991), he completed his training in England, at the University of Reading, Diploma in Fine Art (1995) then at the Chelsea College of Art & Design, University of Arts of London, Master in Arts Degree (2004).
Boo Sze Yang deals with banal objects, modern architectural and industrial interiors, and scenes of destruction as metaphors for the human condition. He is inspired by the architectural mega-structures of Singapore's shopping malls. His series 'the Mallis' depicts unstable spaces on the verge of destruction and ruin. It is a study of space as a symbol, in various shades of grey, with an atmosphere of light. In his exhibition 'The Father' in February-March 2014 in Singapore, Boo Sze Yang focused on Singapore's founder, Lee Kuan Yew with the hope of creating a debate about the future and the concerns that prevail in Singapore, namely how the country will continue to thrive without this iconic figure who has shaped Singapore since independence. Similarly, in his exhibition entitled "29.03.15", he captures the atmosphere of the founder's fateful day of death, which is synonymous with mourning in Singapore's history.
His recent series - quasi-monochrome paintings - evoke a natural world progressively dissected and displaced by urban development, putting it in danger of destruction by the desire of modern humans in search of a better life.
Boo Sze Yang's latest solo exhibition, at AC43 gallery, Singapore, "Dancing with the Wolves", featured over 15 oil works completed in the period of 2015-2021.
Booe zse Yang was in the 30 finalists of the Sovereign Asian Art Prize 2019 and 2018. He previously received the Asian Artist Fellowship Award 2010/2011 sponsored by Freeman Foundation for his residency at the Vermont Studio Center in the USA; he won the Jury Prize for the Philip Morris Singapore-ASEAN Art Award in 2003 and the Platinum Award, UOB Painting of the Year Competition in 2009.
Lim Tze Peng
LIM TZE PENG is one of Singapore's most renowned artists and a living legend. He is famous for his excellent Indian ink drawings and his paintings of Singapore's independence.
Lim Tze Peng was born in Singapore in 1921. He is a self-taught artist who became an artist by teaching.
Lim Tze Peng is one of those artists living today who are important for their memory of scenes and landscapes of a city that has changed a lot in the last thirty years. He painted Chinatown and the Singapore River in the early 1980s. The artist was particularly affected by the rapid modernisation that turned old Singapore into a new, highly cosmopolitan city. He made it his mission to leave evidence of old Singapore before it disappeared, with a sense of romanticism and respect for tradition.
With a strong background in Chinese philosophy, art and culture, Lim also practised Chinese calligraphy, particularly in the 1990s. These are examples of what was called the 'Nanyang' spirit. By adding colour to calligraphy, he gave it a new, more modern expression while preserving Chinese tradition and culture.
From 25 November 2016 to 29 July 2017, an exhibition "Evening climb: The later style of Lim Tze Peng" was organised by the National University of Singapore (NUS) Museum around recent developments in Lim Tze Peng's practice: he turned to the abstract and monumental in his application of calligraphic lines in the latter part of his artistic career. The exhibition was based on a recent donation of Lim Tze Peng's work to the NUS Museum, generously supported by loans from the Lim Tze Peng Art Gallery at Chung Cheng High School and other private collections.
Celebrating his 100th birthday, a virtual exhibition was dedicated to him "A Century of Memories", at the Ode to Art Gallery until 28 December 2020. Twenty new works by the artist were presented along with older works, including nearly one hundred owned by collectors. Lim Tze Peng's latest works depicting scenes from Singapore were painted from memory, which he has been doing continuously for over a decade.
RUBEN PANG is a young artist from Singapore. He is renowned for his ethereal paintings on aluminium.
Ruben Pang is represented by the Yavuz Gallery in Singapore and Primo Marella Gallery in Milan, Italy
Ruben Pang was born in 1990 in Singapore. He graduated from the Lasalle College of the Arts (2010). He currently lives in Sardininia, Italy.
Ruben Pang’s work focuses on automatism, he explores the neurosis and drama of the human condition, both through a very particular painting on aluminium and through the dynamism of sculpture. He does not approach the metal surface with a preconceived image of the final composition, his approach allows the imagery to surface spontaneously; a “visual syncopation, with a clear picture of how the work will appear. « Chance is an important component of creation. I embrace processes which accommodate spontaneity, accident and conflict », states the artist.
The artist uses a combination of oils, alkyds and acrylics, he paints, scratches and erases his paintings using brushes, hands, palette knives and sandpaper, revealing layers of colour that reflect projections of his psyche. Pang prefers aluminium panels as its rigidity reflects and captures the nuances of each moment and gesture in a way which canvas cannot. Pang arrives at « a characteristic layering of shades and tones that accentuate his wispy and muscular Bacon-esque figures ».
Ruben Pang has widely exhibited across Asia, Europe and the United Sates. Latest solo exhibitions: éàé& "Amphibian", Yavuz Gallery, Singpore,“True Solarization”, Primo Marella Gallery, Milan, Italy.
He participated to Asia Now 2021, presented by Primo Marella Gallery.