artcommune gallery is pleased to be partnering with The Culture Story to present Flesh Matters by Wong Keen at Artspace@Helutrans Singapore from 12 – 22 July 2018. Featuring over 35 works from the New York-trained artist’s 'Flesh Series', the exhibition charts the latest exciting development in Wong Keen’s prolific career, which encompasses oil, ink, acrylic, mixed media, and collage works. Also on display is a mural-size painting that measures 305 by 610 cm. Titled, ‘The Aftermath’, its scintillating display of bold colours and narrative symbols — devised through the form and atmosphere of flesh — conveys the theme of warfare among other recurring threads in the series. The exhibition is accompanied by a full-colour catalogue with an essay contributed by Ms. Lee Chor Lin, former Director of the National Museum and the CEO of Arts House Limited.
With an expansive selection of works on canvas and paper on display, Flesh Matters is the first major solo exhibition by the artist dedicated to showcase a singular series, which began in 2012 during an artist’s residency in Caochangdi, Beijing. Wong Keen’s highly-stylised images of the burger, the butcher shop and the nude that are produced between the period of 2012 to 2018 reflect not just dynamic pictorial variations but wide-ranging techniques and mediums.
Wong Keen (b. 1942, Singapore) grew up in a Chinese literati environment and was already an acclaimed young painter when he left Singapore to study at the Art Students League of New York in 1961. He was the first Singaporean and among the earliest of Chinese artists to venture into the flourished post-war American art scene — then the most avant-garde art centre in the world. Having spent over 50 years in the U.S., Wong Keen’s unique oeuvre is a powerful embodiment of Chinese ink-wash aesthetics and Western inventive approach towards form and colour, which has continued to characterise his dramatisation of flesh in form and philosophy in this latest series.
Based in Singapore, The Culture Story aspires to redefine the art salon for the 21st century, a place where curious patrons, connoisseurs and enthusiasts can discover, discuss and collect new artists and their works. The Culture Story was founded in June 2017 by Ning Chong and her father Mr. Chong Huai Seng to share their passion for art, promote art appreciation and connoisseurship. Ning Chong, co-founder of The Culture Story adds, “As organisers we are thrilled to have the opportunity to work closely with Wong Keen and bring this concept to fruition. As art collectors, it has been deeply rewarding and fulfilling to spend intimate moments in his studio, studying his works, watching him paint. We are collectors of his work and will continue to support him, because we are inspired by Wong’s boundless energy and self-driven determination to create dynamic pictures and larger and larger paintings, even moving out of his comfort zone to make installation. At seventy-six years, we find his commitment to painting and thirst to keep pushing boundaries to create new images incredibly refreshing.”
Official Exhibition Opening
Official opening with artist present will be held on Saturday 14 July 2018 from 12 – 4 pm.
Exhibition Dates: 12 – 22 July 2018
Time: 12 – 7 pm (except 14 July, it will close at 4pm)
Venue: Artspace @ Helutrans, 39 Keppel Road, Singapore 089065
Websites: www.theculturestory.co and www.artcommune.com.sg
IG: @the.culture.story and @artcommunegallery
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