The Deep End

A Question of Depth


I think it’s fair to comment the exhibition, like how you will judge a swimming pool – some people would comment on the deepest end, while some will look at the length. This exhibition at p-10 is a witty re-configuration of 3 graduates’ works from a LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts degree show, that at most compares to a jacuzzi pool, with an un-marked deep end.

The exhibition consists of three body of work: one individual obsessed with drawing circles since 12; one that draws acrylic paint marks naively on plastic canvas in Singapore painter Ian Woo fashion, but lacking the colour subtleties; another splices an onslaught of graphic textures with noisy static. The works no doubt display the simple concept of madness and insanity, or at least how art critics and artists have viewed their own work in relation to ‘madness’, or the process of abstraction beyond complicated thoughts. To contextualise the works, they are probably produced beyond the conscious state of mind, chasing that elusive, expressive stroke of genius in the respective media.

The works are meticulous, sanitized; some might say they are feverish or raw. They could be insular, wrapped up in their private codes and symbolism. Are Htet Htet’s circles referring to the Eastern concept of perfection, in it’s own drawn and etched patha search for perfection? Are Jeremy’s paintings, colours representational of violent mood swings or jazzy moments on his guitar? Are the decaying colours of Hun Ping’s video a metaphysical allusion to a ‘tortured’ past, or a critique or pointless consumerism?

The exhibition lacks breadth. It is a sub-sampling of a semblance of a bigger, madder show impresses only with the tenacity to put concept into contemporary art practices while commercial galleries dare not. The limited space of the p-10 gallery remains a challenge to curators. The visual puzzle in the gallery would have proven difficult to the average viewer, even with the gallery handout. The complexity of the exhibition, if one can imagine, would have needed a psychoanalysis of these artists and their works to be of interest to the average viewer, or at least a bigger Freudian curator persona in the exhibition text (even if it annoyed the artists). Only then can the works be a reflection in/on the (bigger) pool, a peek into a wider critique of art and contemporary society.

2.0 of 5 stars
Date: 5-16 July 2006 (By appointment only)

Jeremy Sharma
Toh Hun Ping
Ma Moe Htet Htet


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