Imagine

I believe that each of us has a unique talent and we have a special role to play in life. But when bounded by circumstances, confronted with challenges and fuelled with scepticism, some may resigned to what life brings and hence may not realize his potential. Even so, I still believe we can. I believe that each of our potential and our role in life is beyond the social roles we played or determined by our profession. It is beyond words, beyond space, beyond time. It is limited by our own imagination.

What your talent? An accountant, a painter, or doctor? Or perhaps a child, a parent or a friend. Think about being a leader or supporter, maybe even a doubter or a destroyer. Why not a sun, a rain, or the wind or colour? Perhaps even a light, a hope, a bridge or a harbour? The possibilities are endless.

There are different roles we could play in life, at different time in a day, in week and in a lifetime. We contribute to this world, regardless if we do so intentionally or not. Why confine yourself to a limited set of roles or possibilities? Who is stopping you from defining them? Ultimately, perhaps one could ask – are you consciously and intently living life or letting time waste it?

In this exhibition, some artists confront the scepticism while others imagine the impossible. But ultimately, each of them is attempting to realise and convey about the significance of each their role in life and hopefully inspire others to also explore and to do likewise.

“Sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of who do the things no one can imagine.” – Alan Turing

Imagine a kinder world – a special commission project by Lu De Sheng & LWH

Many expatriates appreciate the hospitality and friendship that they enjoyed while living in China. However, they have also observed that many Chinese do not respond when Chinese service providers greet them. Some friends have attempted to justify these behaviours due to the Chinese’s reserved nature or the lack of trust in society. Others explained that many Chinese feel that to serve is lowly. It confounds these expatriates how Chinese treat fellow Chinese so differently and do not extend the same courtesy and kindness that they have enjoyed. In this project, we invite people to express gratitude and appreciation to one and all. A video recording will be projected at the entrance of the gallery to welcome all visitors. We believed that as more people jump into this bandwagon, we could make the world a better and kinder place for all. Of course, there will be doubters and others who look at this endeavour with scepticism. But what have we got to lose? Keep doing this and we can the world.

Imagine Your Possibility? 然并卵 (Ran Bing Luan) by Lu De Sheng

As we become more connected and more information is shared across the globe, the world may seem like a harsher place than before. War, famine, refugee, pollution, crime… the list goes on. But has the world indeed become worse? Or it is just our perception of it. Ultimately it is reality. Regardless if we know; do not know; want to know or do not want to know; what is happening around us – has happened. For many people, these issues seem so far away, it has minimal impact on their lives. Indifference, cynicism, resignation they are such a ubiquitous feeling and phenomena that in China that there is new term for it. But if you think about it, is it really that distant from us?

“Ran Bing Luan ” is a popular internet acronym coined in 2015, The phase refers to some thing that seem very complex, but actually there is no substantive effect, nor have the desired outcome. It is used to express frustration and ridicule. This art project attempts to alleviate the sense of helplessness and frustration facing individuals, groups and societies today. We invite participants to express their frustration over issues that they wish to highlight. Participants choose the location that reflect their concerns and take a self -portrait with the 3 Chinese characters imbedded on their naked body. First two Chinese characters ‘然并’ are reflected on the face and chest. The last Chinese character ‘卵’- which means egg, is represented by the reproductive organ.

Imagine the Impossible – by Su Zhen Xiao
We are limited by our senses and influenced by our own interpretation. It is confined by our senses and logic. It is coloured by our predisposition and experiences. But we have a ‘heart’. It is the heart that drives us to bring the seemingly impossible into fruition.

Can fishes be swimming in the air?
Yes, it can. It is in your heart!

Imagine the Origin of Man by Lei Yun Rui

As one grows older, we loose our childlike innocence. Our thoughts and behaviour are coloured by social conditioning and experiences. Our world is tinted by prejudices and emotions. Lei was intrigued by the creation of man and studied the Christian Bible. However, his works exude Buddhism influences. This is because Lei wishes to express the ‘original state of man’ from a philosophical rather than from only a theological perspective. In addition, Lei’s has also skilfully infused a Yin-Yang quality into his works. Each of the glasswork exudes a childlike innocence, but at the same time embodies the strength of a grown man. There is vigour and vulnerability, radiance and serenity. The result is a unique series of artwork that is an eclectic embodiment of influences and ideas from Buddhism, Christianity and Taoism.

Imagine the Power of Love 不可能的爱
by Shunzi 顺子

Fine Point Ink on Paper

Shunzi’s mother was once very ill. But he was not able to be by her side. He was most concerned about her wellbeing and was at lost as to how he could help her. As such he does he what he does best – he paints. For days on ends, painted day and night, hoping that his conviction will touch the heavens. He created one of his largest and most detailed works – of many women in prayer in different directions. The highly decorated woman is inspired by the benevolence and wisdom of a “Bodhisattva” – who is known for compassion and answering man’s prayer in times of need.

In some way, each of Shunzi’s work speaks of love and compassion, between family members, between friends, or even strangers. Love is our life giver, our nurturer, our protector, our harbor.

Shunzi’s mum is now in the pink of health.

This is UTOPIA

Are you living in Utopia? Would you believe that it is right before your eyes? Honestly, I find that hard to believe too. But lets start with a scenario. You are reaching for a cup of coffee on your desk. When you drink it, it is not warm. You are unhappy that it has turned cold. What do you think is the cause of your unhappiness? Is it the fault of the coffee or is it because you can feel the temperature of the coffee? Or is it simply just… You.

We are upset because we ‘expect’ the coffee to be warm. Our wants and desires are often the root cause of our unhappiness. We believe that we are intelligent beings, we can satisfy our wants, dictate our life, our environment, and our world. As such we get upset when things do not go our way.

What if we just appreciate everything, as it is – even that lukewarm cup of coffee? If we could do that, wouldn’t we be happy with all that we have. Wouldn’t we be living in a state of Utopia?

In this exhibition, some of the artworks showcase the artist’s sensitive portrayal of a slice of their heaven on earth, while other express their pursuit of the spiritual utopia. At the other spectrum, there are artworks that deliberate on the mindless decimation of humanity and rampant destruction of cultural heritage by extreme ideological groups.

So…This is Utopia. Or is it?

The Spirit of Utopia
Albert Yonathan, Indonesia

Albert is one of the 5 artists who represented Indonesia for the prestigious Venice Biennale in 2013. His work uses aesthetic elements that encompass contemporary forms combined with semi-traditional nature drawings that hint at the hidden spiritual dimensions and connections. His deeply personal and figurative works attempts to explore the complexity of the interrelationship between humanity and nature. He combines flora or fauna with traditional abstract patterns to create the characteristics of ancient totems. The totems reveal the artist’s fascination with the mystical aspects of nature and spiritually influence human beings. He utilizes simple, forms of animals, flowers and plants to illustrate his spiritual interaction with nature and simultaneously, his parallel, meditative process in making art. His aim was to create mysterious and mystically beautiful images that parallel our experience of nature as both beautiful and mysterious.

I Can Utopia
Harry Young, China

Many a times we think about the challenges faced by those who in the minorities as they faced tremendous pressure to fit in, live up to expectation and be accepted by the majority. But how does the presence of minorities impact the majority is usually an overlooked issue. Sometimes all it takes is one minority to upset the compact equilibrium set out by the majority. From the defiant act of jaywalking to a positive act of helping a blind cross a street, all these daily actions could trigger a flood of reaction and ripple effect that could threaten the equilibrium of the society. So who is to say that the majority holds the power in a society? Can a single person change the world?

Evolution of Utopia
Cao Yuanqi, Zhu Rongfen, Liang Xiaohui, Xu Meihao, China
This artwork evolved from a piece of Tang Dynasty Buddha sculpture. It is made of a resin body infused with pieces of China Daily newspaper article. The article was published in February 2015 and reported about the ISIS attack on the museum in Mosul, Iraq. The terrorist group destroyed thousand year-old relics in name of social, historical, cultural and ideological cleansing. It is a deplorable destruction of humanity’s cultural heritage and tremendous lost for mankind. Although this tragic event occurred in a different part of the world, the artists infused the newspaper article with a Chinese historical artwork to serve as a reflection of their own history. As recent as the Cultural Revolution, many cultural heritage and monuments were systematically destroyed. This Tang Dynasty Buddha fragment served as a testament of the own destructive behaviour.

This other piece of artwork is inspired by the classical symbol of a Buddha’s Aura – symbolizing wisdom and spiritual enlightenment. On its surface, it is filled with a maze of lines and passages that leads to nowhere. It serves as a metaphor of the state of religiosity in China. Today, many Chinese are either indifferent or have a distorted understanding of religion. The lack of clear entrance and exit to the maze represents the failure of religions in addressing this current state of faithlessness and confusion, At the centre of the artwork is a motor bearing. Its form is similar with the Six Trigrams graphics of Chinese Theory of ‘Yi’, which is an ancient spiritual and metaphysical expression. The insertion of this bearing represents the awkward confluence and cross-pollination of modern science, ancient wisdom and religious beliefs.

Super Utopia
Chen Shi Tong, Singapore
London, New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai & Singapore – these are the Utopia of millions of migrants seeking a better life. Although some succeed, many of them struggle to make good, while others fall between the cracks. From Shi Tong’s perspective, it is not just the glamourous skyscrapers that define the city, it is the people who moves it and the creatives that shapes it. Without them, any of these city skylines would have been just a lifeless monolithic landscape. Shi Tong reimagine Chinese classical landscape works by creating strong mountainscapes that are a fusion of muitple media such as oil, acrylic and Chinese ink. The different media speaks of the diverse persona of people and ideas. The powerful landscapes are balanced with a fluidity of textures and colours that is reminiscent of dynamicism and but also and the impermanence of these cities. Ulitmately It is these diverse elements and ideas that makes a city ever changing, ever dynamic, ever Utopia.

MYANMAR IN MOTION

A nation shut from the world, slowly opening its door
Ruled by a military regime with no rule of law
With minorities subjugated, majority oppressed
In a state of flux, of change, of unrest
Golden rays of Pagoda, pierce through the clouds
Is it the thousand protests or the silent prayers
That brought the change about
Led by a lady of noble peace…of extraordinaire
After decades of isolation, hope is finally in the air

Today, Myanmar’s artists and intellectuals are pushing boundaries of creative self-expression. Writers are giving readings at literary festivals. Musicians are fusing hip hop with traditional music, and painters are revealing works that for decades could be shared only with trusted friends.

“Myanmar in Motion” presents a specturm of exciting works by both masters and emerging artists. Together, their works have been shown in major cities such as Boston, Hong Kong, New York, Munich, Singapore and Toronto.

Of the works presented, some are openly political, other story the individual. And although Buddhism’s influences is evident in most of the works, but to burnish them merely as such, is to benign the torrent of different forces and movement sweeping across the nation and that the artists are capturing probably one most significant moment in history of Myanmar. Be a witness of a nation in motion.

As a highly respected art teacher in Myanmar’s leading art institution, Wint Tint feels that while he can impart the techniques of painting to his students, but he cannot teach the sense of feeling of art.

At first glance, the patterns of lines, brushworks, figures, space and forms evoke impressionist artworks that are strikingly realistic but at the same time dreamlike in emotion. In these ‘vast’ spaces, the clarity and blurriness, the light and shade, of dissolving colours create a serene beauty that is in contrast of the usually crowded area of the iconic Shwedagon temple of which the paintings get its inspiration from.

Wint Tint recounts a time when a friend after viewing his collection of works, suggested that he painted something different rather monasteries and pagodas. His calmly replied to his friend “ You still haven’t seen what I paint”.

Maw Thu Danu chooses to compose his works through the reflection of glass and mirrors so as to literally ‘reflect’ upon on the social, political and economic development in his country. The modern store window sprouting on the perimeters of ancient places of worship are no mere evidence of the growing wealth in Myanmar. In the eyes of Danu, they serve as his medium on which he expresses his concern on the impact of capitalism and consumerism on his beloved country. As much as he appreciates the benefits of economic growth on improving the living conditions of his people, he is equally concern about the cost of rapid development. He certainly hopes that people appreciates the visual aesthetic of his works of reflection, but more importantly, he wish that they will also perhaps take a moment to reflect upon the reflection within.

Khin Muang Zaw leads the new wave of water colourists that are emerging from Myanmar. Khin Muang Zaw’s superior skill in watercolor is apparent in his detailed pattern of intricate architecture, creases and folds of the fabric as well as the play of light and shadow. His breathtaking watercolor on paper observes the daily scenes young novices going about daily monastic life.

In this body of work, the artist pays homage to Buddhism, which, for generations, has been an integral part of Myanmar’s culture. More importantly it is the strength from which the people draw upon to survive the decades of economic hardship and political oppression.

Since first time I set eyes on Moe Z’s works, I have witnessed a heartening evolution the years. His powerful and politically charged works are sought after in American and European art centres. The dominant presence of monks and nuns in unity evoke memories of the tumultuous times when segments of the country’s Buddhist establishments where involved in the civilian upsurge against the militant junta. It is as such heartening to see that over the years, like the country, Moe Z’s works are beginning to show signs of hopes and optimism, with the latest works featuring a young novice in hopeful prayer against a backdrop of illuminating light (see 1st page of this press release).

“I appreciate the value of light. Because of light, we can feel and see all objects. In my paintings, I always paint darkness in order to appreciate the light. Without light, everything is impossible. The dark in the paintings represents suffocation in this country where most people are trying to survive. There is only a very little hope, which is like a dim flickering light.
The main feature of my composition is this contrast between dark and light. The subject of my work – monks and nuns – is almost incidental” A Moe Z

OH MY GOD

O.M.G. – it is more than just an expression
It is a revulsion
It is an endorsement
It is a compulsion
It is an idolisation

The list goes on. It is such a commonly used phrase in the English language that it possesses an extensive breath of meaning and emotions. The closest version in Chinese is “我的天啊!”, which literally means “Oh my Heaven!” But then the phrase carries a more limited spectrum of innuendos and emotions.

In China, the discussion of Gods, spirits and idols rarely surfaced and certainly not endorsed in the official media. For example, as compared to the British or the American national anthem, we do not hear words of “God’ in the China’s national anthem. There is no state-sanction religious education. Any form of ‘idolisation’ of the supernatural is frown upon. Ironically the only form of such state-endorsed homage is a pledge of loyalty and passion for the state.

This summer, LWH Gallery is dipping its toes on the subject of ‘God and Idols’. We are presenting works by Chinese artists that shares a common thread of personal explorations on the concept of ‘God’. The following are three of them.


The Digital Idol by Chen Ke

Art has always been the medium from which man conveys his innermost thoughts and emotions, from primitive cave paintings of hunting scenes to the finest renaissance works depicting celestial splendour.

Art has also been the platform for which was celebrate the achievement of man and the blessings of God. Over last century, Art has evolved from the two dimensional sphere to the multi-dimensional digital realm. And before the arrival of smart phones or even the computer, the television is the probably the most iconic symbol of the early digital age.

From being a medium of communication, the digital world has now evolved to become a medium of consumption. From expression of our inner most thoughts to the fulfilment of desires. Through the digital platform, we can now easily fulfil our most basic wishes to fuelling the innermost desire.

Today, the digital realm has evolved to allow one overcome our physical and intellectual limitations. It has become our answers to many of our prayers and wishes. Has it become our new “Idol”? And if not now, who is to deny the possibility that the digital realm will evolved with an self aware artificial intelligence that surpass the capabilities of man and will one day be come our new “God”.


Worship Me. Icon Me. – By Ooorangeee

Ooorangeeee is a young Chinese artist who does not wish to declare his ‘official credentials’. In his opinion the history has past. It is no absolute guide of the future. We are as good as we are today. Every new day is a blank white sheet.

With his youthful confidence and self-aware naivety, Ooorangeeee creates bold, disturbing, thought-provoking and possiblly highly contentious artworks, some which could not be shown publicly without fear of any backlash. He represents the new generation of Chinese youth who fears no one, idolise no one but hope to be idolised and worship someday. In his own words;

“I hope people see me as a symbol. But reflect upon the message in my art. But I do not claim to offer answers. Rather, I attempt to pose questions…

From the time that we are born, we are nurtured and conditioned by symbols. Our insatiable wants and deep insecurities spur us to pursue different symbols, but ultimately, one discovers that consuming these symbols does not fill us. The initial euphoria that we derived dissipates soon after. The emptiness sink in and we continue in the cycle of relentless consumption. What is the meaning of our existences?

But then I asked; Do we really exist? Can we prove our existence? If we do not exist, what is the point of everything?

“Belief in me.” says God.

Every religion has different forms of ritual, but all share a common promise. That our faith and devotion to it will bring one peace, salvation and fulfilment. Are we masters of our life or bound by symbols?” – Ooorangeeee


My Homage to Eternality – A Video Presentation by Lu De Sheng

As China pay homage to massive economic and social redevelopment, relentless hacking balls dot the nation’s landscape. Homes are torn down and communities are displaced. We walk pass them by everyday. We try to musk from ourselves from the pervasive dust. Such common sights never seem to affect anyone least the displaced. But..

What if it is the playground where you cherish your childhood memories?
What if it is the place where you bond with your best friends?
What if it means that your memories will be erased?
What if it means that you will be forgotten?
Will you be as indifferent? Will the moment be just about a moment, or it is about eternality? Is it about me or about the society? Is it about destruction or creation?

De Sheng painted famous landmarks, such as the Arc De Triomphe, Tiananmen or the Great Wall on community walls that are slated for demolition and proceed to record the eventual downfall of these monuments. According to De Sheng, these “eternal monuments’ are highly symbolic, emotive and perhaps even spiritual for many people. They represent our past, our future, our victories, our achievements, our failures, our vanities and humility. Perhaps it is even a testimony of our pursuit for eternality…for immortality. As civilization rises and descent, when edifice emerge and collapse, De Sheng wonders, what happen if one were to witness their eventual fall from grace and adoration. Will one be as indifferent?


About Lu De Sheng

De Sheng was born in Anhui Bozhou. He graduated from Anhui Normal University and currently lives Wuhu. His works have been show in Anhui, Tianjin, Himalayas Art Museum and the Wuhu Art Museum. “Eternal Monuments” consist of a reality performance art video capturing the creation and destruction of famous landmarks. An installation consisting of large format prints and remnants of the ‘Monument’ will be presented at the exhibition.

PATH OF ILLUMINATION

LWH Gallery is proud to present the solo exhibition of multiple award-winning Thai artist – Chatchawan Rodklongtan. Chatchawan is a highly regarded contemporary artist in his home country. His honors roll includes two top prizes from the Phillip Morris Art Award, and prestigious national accolades for his portraits of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. His works are in the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Bangkok and the Oita Beppu Art Museum, Beppu, Japan.

Chatchawan’s signature style involves paintings of golden light illuminating behind glided doors complete with walls of intricate details with symbolic Thai motifs. In Chatchawan’s paintings, gold colour expresses faith while darkness symbolises ignorance. The mesmerising light that breaks through the gates stands for the light of knowledge. Each of his works conveys his idealism into images that integrate Buddhism doctrines.

The intricate motifs on the walls represent the earthly struggles and mortal temptations. As one overcome them, a gilded door bestowed with auspicious Buddhism motif opens to invite one towards the light of illumination.

According to Chatchawan, “Everyone likes happiness. And what exactly is true happiness? This has been the initial concept of my work for more than 15 years. It briefly touches upon the direction of my personal life, my experiences, what I’ve seen and know to that of my psyche, finding inspiration from faith. It is a composition of the principles of Dharma and Buddhism. However, Buddhism is not a belief or about faith. It is about a path that someone directs us to, but it depends on the individual, whether or not they are ready to open the door and embark the path on their own.”

Chatchawan’s artistic mastery and detail works are in full glory in not just the illuminated section of his paintings. Often the finest details are found in the faintest of light where it conceals a high degree of artistic details that are only visible upon close inspection. The darkness is symbolic of struggle that man face in his darkest hours. Nevertheless with determination and will, the doors that glow in celestial splendor calls upon man towards betterment.

For more information about the artist click here

THE ESSENCE OF ‘i’

For eternality, man have long deliberated on definition and meaning of ‘I’.

But with the growing invention of science on ‘I’, be it through artificial intelligence or research on human cloning, coupled with our ever cyber-connected human relations, in both the social and politics sphere, the discussion of ‘I’ has become ever more complex.

“Can an ‘I’ cloned from my genes be considered a human being?” With the ever pervasive stealth like the social and political conditioning, “Am I really who I am ?”

At first glance, there is no commonality in the works of these between these two highly acclaimed contemporary artists from Korea. Ho Yoon SHIN expresses though the ancient craft of the fine paper cutting technique while Zi Woon WANG work’s features technology and science through the bodies of cyborgs.

However, as one delves deeper into the psyche of the two artists and their artistic expression about mankind, their similarities begin to unfold.

Wang considers it important to for man to learn to break free from physical human bondage in order to achieve harmony between men and machines. He thinks this harmony can be achieved through the process of religious practices and spiritual enlightenment, just like Buddha is a being who reaches the highest level of enlightenment. The artist has no intention to emphasize religious connotations through those Buddhist iconography inspired works. Rather is a platform to reflect his own or our own existence between utopia and dystopia.

Like Wang, Shin deliberates upon the state dystopia of in Korean using Buddhism inspired iconography to express to state of man and society.

“I am interested in social phenomena and approached the essence of it. I realised that the closer I approached it, I realised there is no essence. I think it is already intrinsic in you, being judged and evaluated by the inherent values in our things or me. Therefore, if examined in that viewpoint, I begin to understand why the power group of Korea has wanted to spilt all kinds of social systems, – the right and the left, social classes divided on its economic structure, dominance and subordination etc.

Although both of their work stemmed from their personal narratives, it has gradually extended its domain to issues on human existence. Wang’s work aggressively questions on human existence and makes an attempt to graft this onto something mechanical rather than passively accepting the future. While in the case of Shin, his distinct expression on ‘emptiness’ of his works and that of the world as a whole is a testimony to that belief of all is if no substance.

“Looking at a solid body made up through several layers, we get to know that the system of the body is organised rather dangerously than strangely, and the system looks like the contemporary society. And its vacant surface and inside are getting filled with our inherent images to completion. In the end, it’s a story about the situation and a point where we fill a surface that doesn’t exist… and console and satisfy ourselves.”, says Shin.

So what lies ahead for us? Wang is hopeful humans will evolve and adapt themselves to enhanced science and technology, just as Shin bring forth an ancient craft to a another level and communicated in a contemporary context. Both see the future, not as a fight to eliminate the negative, a defeat of the dystopia, or feud between good vs. evil. But rather it about is attainting that state of harmony and balance of life.

For perhaps at the end of it all….. ‘i’ is no essence.
About Ho Yoon Shin

Born in 1975, Ho Yoon Shin graduated from Chosun University in 2001. His awe-inspiring works has won him multiple awards in Korea and has been shown Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany, Bulgaria and USA.

There is No Essence’ is a series of sculptures made entirely of hi fibre paper and crafted entirely by hand, these intricate artworks are inspired by not just Buddhism philosophy; but they also explores the fundamental social and political conditions in Korea and the world today.

Each of these intricate sculptures is painstaking crafted by Shin. Shin hand cuts each layer of the sculpture and coat them Urethane that protects and preserves the paper. Each layer is then carefully put together with coated paper joints that lend strength and stability to the artwork. Each of this artwork weighs no more than 200 gm.

To view more works by the artist, click here
About Zi Won Wang

Born in 1980, Korea, Zi –Won Wang graduated from the Chung Ang University with a BA in Sculpture in 2005. He proceeded to complete his Masters in 2007. In addition to having multiple solo exhibitions in Seoul, Tokyo and Amsterdam, Wang’s works have been shown in other major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Chicago and New York.

Wang’s work begins from the birth of Z, a mechanical man. He refers to this man as a post human species, appropriating his own appearance and naming the mechanic man Z after his own name’s English initial. In his work, Z has proliferated and evolved in diverse modes. His works is a reflection of himself in human society, and appears as a protagonist or a baby. It is without doubt the artist himself, facing and playing with us, at the point where his most fundamental questioning begins. The question is whether Z can exist as a human being, and a machine with the spirit breaking away from the human body can be admitted as ‘I’ by others.

To view more works by the artist, click here

Impression of Indonesia

Over the past year, I had the pleasure of visiting many artists in the de facto art capital of Indonesia – Yogyakarta. I encountered a vibrant and diverse artist community creating outstanding work that are geared increasingly to an international audience and yet firmly rooted in their distinct culture.

My excitement towards Indonesian contemporary art is shared by both the local and international art community. The booming art industry is spurred by the strong domestic economic growth with The Economist predicting the country’s GDP surpassing that of the U.K. by 2030. With affluence has come a desire on the part of the growing middle class to acquire art. Demand has pushed up prices, which in turn has precipitated investment in the local gallery and auction infrastructure. Sotheby’s and Christie’s have representatives in Jakarta, as does Gagosian Gallery. In 2013, Art Stage Singapore created a dedicated Indonesian Art Pavilion.

Over next two months, we will present several Indonesian artists at LWH Gallery, Shanghai. The curated pieces were selected to give visitors a glimpse of the diverse range of painting styles and models, but more importantly it offers one an introduction to the broad range of topics and issues that are the engaging the mind and soul of the Indonesian artistic community.

Come join us in this art journey into the soul of Indonesia.

My Dreams. Our Hopes

On the surface, Singapore may seem like a cultural desert. It is not surprising given its short history with multi-racial migrants forming the bulk of it population composition hence lacking a distinct cultural identity. However, it is precisely in such conditions that perhaps Singapore artists need to work ‘harder’ and dig deeper to create extraordinary works. Their efforts are gradually paying off.

In recent years, several Singapore artists are setting record prices in auction houses with works reaching up to three million dollar marks. Certainly an achievement for a country with less then 50 years of modern history and a population only a quarter of the size of Shanghai.

This May, LWH Gallery is presenting two award-winning artists who have worked hard to reach where they are today.  Although both artists adopt different mediums and with works that are vastly different in styles, both share a common drive to produce heartfelt artworks that reflects not just their personal dreams but importantly to also give voice that reflects the hopes of the ‘ordinary’ us.

Born in 1985 in Singapore, Chen Shitong graduated from Nanyang academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) majoring in Western Painting before obtaining his degree with Lasalle College of the Arts in 2013. In 2009, he was awarded the NAFA Fine Arts award. He participated in the 1st Macau printmaking triennial in 2012 and was a recipient of The Winston Oh Travel Award the same year. In 2013, he was the best selling artists at Spot Art 2013 – South-east Asia’s only international juried arts festival of artists under 30 years.

In his practice, Shitong uses printmaking as a medium to highlight the intersection between history, people and places. Despite the enveloping concrete in modern Singapore, Shitong managed to seek inspiration from it, for this series of mix medium work entitled ‘Choices’.

 

About ‘Choices’

Drawing inspiration from classical Chinese landscapes, Shitong reinterprets them through contemporary prints. The monolithic landscape serves as the metaphor for the migrant make up of Singapore’s population and serves as the back drop for his intuitive protraryal of the issues facing Singapore and perhaps the the world at large.

In this series of works, Shitong sought inspiration from issues that are shaping his home and the environment. Like many Asian countries, Singapore is experiencing growing income disparity. Shitong sensitively capture the sense of lost and helplessness as those from the lower income strata makes difficut choices in leaving their loves ones in order to make a better living for their love ones. Those who are less fortunate, struggles to make meet while they witness the others moving up in the socio-econmic ladder.

The extremity of the life goes beyond the social. Despite being known as a clean and green city, Singapore is not spared from the recent climate change. Extreme weathers, such as piercing rain, extended dry spells are acutely felt by its people. All these are represented by the duality of elements in drawings, medium, colour, texture or form in his works. The choices we made and the repurcussions we faced in the name of progress.

“As a boy, I dreamt of being a professional artist. Ever since I could hold a pencil, I was always drawing”, say Aaron Gan. Born in 1979, it was a time of both racing growth and change for both Singapore and him. Although Aaron stopped learning art as a formal subject when he reached 14, he continued to carry a sketchbook whenever he went and drew whenever he could. And like many other Singapore youth of his generation, Aaron pursued a general business degree and worked regularly before managing a successful business.

“They say your life changes when you become a father. That was true for me. I had been running my own business successfully for several years but I never forgot my childhood dream. I felt that as a father, I should one day be able to look at my daughter in the eye and tell her that life is for living, and that it is up to her to live and pursue her dreams.” Aaron wind down his business and plunged headlong into the arts. He painted day and night, studied and learned from not just books but also from accomplished artists.

In July 2012 his dedication and hard work paid off. He was chosen to participate in the International Watercolour Biennial in Belgium alongside international watercolour heavyweights such as Nicholas Simmons of USA. He was also featured in a full-page article on the local newspaper.

In this series of works, Aaron exudes his sense of hope and positivity with his dream-like works. From the serene portrait of artist in the clouds to a quiet respect and appreciation of the diversity of life – such is the power of fatherhood.

“I believed that to be a good artist, one must first understand art, to understand art, one must first understand life. Once you understand life, you will no longer need to understand art. Then you can start painting.”  –  Aaron Gan

For more information, please contact us at:
Room 102, Building 14,
50 Moganshan Road, Shanghai, China
Tel:  +86 187 0171 7975
Email: info@lwhgallery.com
Website: www.lwhgallery.com
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Peace of Mind . Peace on Earth

Paramat chose to be trained in classical Thai painting techniques as he wishes to preserve the country’s cultural heritage. He spent his earlier years doing mural paintings for many temples around Thailand. His time spent in temples got him to develop an interest in Buddhism. The meditativeenvironment spurs him to reflect and think about the many stories and teachings of Buddha that he had painted on the temple walls. It lays the spiritual foundation for his artworks.

Paramat’s works are inspired by the presence of nature, the beauty of nature, the inextricably link between man and nature. Many of his works feature plants and animals, real or mythical, with images of man are artfully weaved amongst them, reinforcing the interconnectedness of all things in this world.

With such confluences of ideas and influences, Paramat has developed a very unique style in his works. They are highly intricate and yet bold, complex and yet serene. It is almost like a portrait of a paradisiacal world. A world conjured by the artist not for himself, for anyone who opens their mind to it. But importantly it carries an invaluable message for all to ponder upon

Beauty + Violence

Everyday women around the world are exposed to violence. The most severe hits the news headlines. But perhaps the most disturbing of these aggressions are those that are covert and even embraced by women.

From fashion magazines that promote the indiscriminate idolisation of waifs-thin models to movies that continue to sexualise female side kicks, from societies that justify battery of women in the name of honour, to cultures that deny women equal access to opportunities. Despite growing literacy and development, many Asian cultures continue to bind woman from realising their full potential.

This is not an exhibition that attempts to address the aggression. It is an attempt to raise its awareness. But more importantly it is a celebration of woman. It is about an appreciation of her beauty, an attempt to understand her soul. It is about raising the awareness of the subjugation of women, but at the same time, it is also about the stories of women who have challenged the mould.

As Hillary Clinton once said;
“We need to understand that there is no formula for how women should lead their lives. That is why we must respect the choices that each woman makes for herself and her family. Every woman deserves the chance to realize her God-given potential.”

About the Art Works
Our artists certainly do not claim to be experts on women. And although the artworks may not provide any new insights on women, many of our artists, both man and women certainly have something to say about them.

Contemporary Nude has always been a favourite subject for Hein Thit from Myanmar However he has taken a step further and attempted to reveal the complex layers of female pysche – albeit with a more light hearted approach. This is done through the layering popular Burmese romance comics in his works as a simile for the age old social conditioning of gender roles. It is in contrast with Vietnam’s artist Bao Thih’s colourful impressionist works, which celebrate the man’s desire for the femme fatale in wanton passion.

Maw Thu Dan Nu from Myanmar addressed the commercial exploitation of feminine ideals through his signature style of highlighting social issues through glass reflections – from the display of sumptuous wedding gown for the dream wedding, to matching his-and-hers holiday beachwear to create the picture perfect honeymoon photo.

Digital media artist Naoko Tosa will release a special preview of her new work to commemorate International Women’s Day. Deep frozen flowers that symbolise the rigidity of gender roles, are aggravated and blown apart in this sensitively produced artwork. Harrowing as it may sound, there is a mesmerising beauty in the ‘destruction’. Perhaps it is sign of the things to come when binding gender roles are finally broken…

 

Sharing the Stories of 3 Women

Despite cultural pressures and social skepticism, Coco Chen took the leap of faith by taking the less travelled route of travelling independently around the world – from Jordon to Dubai, Nepal to Laos. She is amongst a growing group of young Chinese women who are now exerting their youthful exuberance and confidence.

At this show, Coco will showcase some of her stunning travel photographs and will be sharing her travel experiences and challenges as an independent female traveller. Come make an appointment with Coco at LWH Gallery on 8 and 15 March 2014.

 

Nadine, Philippines

Nadine is a young female artist living in Singapore. Despite growing up in one of Asia’s most open society, she grew up in an environment where conservative values pervade. “When I was young, I wanted to be a pilot but was told that females are not suited to be pilots. I felt that it was not right’, said Nadine.

Through highly intricate drawings, she challenges the gender stereotype, using strong geometric forms on female portraits, contrasting it with highly delicate and intricate motifs for the portrayal of the male gender.

Ren Yung, Singapore

Despite coming from an affluent family, Ren Yung from Singapore decides to strike it out on her on to start her own social enterprise that aims to positive impact in the communities she work with. Her company, aptly named “Matter”, produces block print fabrics with women in Rajasthan, India. Ren Yung believes that by giving village women the ability to earn their own income, we uplifting not just the women, we are uplifting their children, their family and ultimately the society.

During the show, LWH Gallery will showcase a selection of block prints fabrics created by the village women of Rajasthan. All nett proceeds of the sales of these fabrics will be donated to a charity supported by Matter.