Style

Since graduation, I have been exploring with different colours and mediums.

At one stage, professors akin my paintings to Jackson Pollock’s. He was a major figure in the abstract expressionist movement. He painted in a completely abstract manner, and the `drip and splash’ style for which he is best known emerged with a bang. Instead of using the traditional easel he affixed his canvas to the floor or the wall and poured and dripped his paint from a can; instead of using brushes he manipulated it with `sticks, trowels or knives’ (to use his own words), sometimes obtaining a heavy impasto by an admixture of `sand, broken glass or other foreign matter’. This manner of Action painting had in common with Surrealist theories of automatism that it was supposed by artists and critics alike to result in a direct expression or revelation of the unconscious moods of the artist.

I too prefer the top-down and all around method of painting, this way my body is integrated into the painting fully. Absolute concentration is critical at this point, any distraction will only serve to break the connection between the canvas and me. Like an embryo and a parent, one directly affects the other. Lost in a trance-like stage with my soul free to wander, my physical body moves randomly with an unseen hand. I do not start with a plan in mind, I let my instinct guide me to the final destination.

Pollock’s name is also associated with the introduction of the All-over style of painting which avoids any points of emphasis or identifiable parts within the whole canvas and therefore abandons the traditional idea of composition in terms of relations among parts.

I find that by breaking these barriers of traditional constrains, the mind is led in the most delicious manner to the most surprising results. I can set my unconscious mind free to wander in any direction it sees fit, driving my hidden aspirations to a entirely different level. This in turn allows the audience’s mind to start a journey with me while choosing a particular path at any crossroads.

Starting with Pollock-like paintings that are colourful and fully abstract in nature, I have evolved to a happy in-between style that is abstract but infused with a figurative influence at the same time. I think of it like qigong on paper, a free catch and release of energy that is poured onto the paper. I call it the “New Expression” Chinese Ink Paintings.

Unlike traditional Chinese Gong-bi (工筆)/Court Style or Shui-mo (水墨)/Freehand Style paintings often depicting realistic themes, this style combines the use of traditional Chinese ink on rice paper with a untraditional representation.  My taste for a monochromatic palette make for blurred, obtuse images that continue to evolve with each view. This purposefully reductive colour scheme represents the elusive nature of history and memory, reflecting my belief that representation can only be partial and subjective. Loaded naturalistic themes are developed in seemingly tangential ways with an abstract element.

Much has been made of the need to “decode” my work with viewers looking to your titles for guidance. I feel that you should not underestimate the public and try to be overly didactic, I have constantly been asked for bigger captions but I really prefer to make them less visible. Bigger captions would mean that spectators surrender the essence of the painting, I do not want to take that away from them. They should have the freedom to let their imagination take flight and decipher what it means to them. I too understand that a lot of art enthuaists can appreciate the thought process behind a painting and for some, it is part so I try to strike a balance. It has been said that the best way to view my paintings would be to unravel the images first then look at the caption after.