“Let’s Draw a Belief When We Lose Faith” by Angie Seah

truisms and naïve drawings

“Art is the human disposition of
sensible or intelligible matter
for an esthetic end.

Beauty is beheld by the imagination which
Is appeased by the most satisfying
Relations of the sensible.

The personality of the artist
A first a cry or a cadence or mood
And then a fluid and lambent narrative.
Finally refines itself out of existence,
Impersonalise itself, so to speak.”

[framed, artist’s statement]

An installation of text, doodles on note paper, arranged sporadically like words spouting from the walls, framed postcard size pictures lining the wall; I can imagine you wouldn’t know what to make of it.

It may come as a surprise to many, but I see familiarities between Angie Seah’s work, Ben Phua (of the Rat fame) and veteran local artist and lecturer Vincent Leow. Vincent Leow has been a prominent force behind a kind of automatic drawing that pops up in corners of the art school and art scene in Singapore. The installation by Angie Seah seem to bear witness to this ‘style’ – whimsical in nature, spawned from random thoughts and images made in the lowest fidelity possible with art making. They can be about social and cultural commentaries, but I wouldn’t say they are anything but rhymes about the peripherals of art and culture. They resemble doodles on math tutorials and lecture notes, temporary escapes from reality into make belief worlds. The title of the exhibition reinforces this, allowing the artist to temporarily escape from reality and into her world of drawings. Perhaps this is the best explanation for the works – they are like escapes into a child-like world for the artist and like-minded, mood-minded viewer. They are however, light hearted, and not teenage or mid-life crisis angst ridden.

The works by Angie Seah also bears international influences from Art Brut in its concept or surrealist-like phases of Paul Klee with his child-like, pure drawings. Can there be a child-like installation? Maybe not, unless it resembles toys strewn across the floor. The phrases that pop up here and there in the drawings, are truisms in the traditions of Jenny Holzer; others are commercial-like blurps, filling the need to explain the drawings. Perhaps this best sums up the exhibition and I am only going to say something familiar, “truisms and naïve drawings”.


2 of 10 stars.
March 23 – April 14, Front Row


3 responses to ““Let’s Draw a Belief When We Lose Faith” by Angie Seah

  1. hey kok boon,
    i do like angie’s works alot, esp. the energy in her unique imageries.
    perhaps u can get to know her better by having a conversation with her.

  2. note:
    as an artist/critic,

    having star ratings for other artists’ works is unquestionably an impolite gesture of professionalism! seeing art reviews as hollywood movie reviews? is it necessary?

  3. Dear Anonymous, thank you for the strong comments. The intention of the rating system is simply an ‘exercise’ on my part, or occupational hazard, if you like.

    Should art reviews be necessarily different from hollywood reviews, or ‘main stream’ reviews? Should movies have necessary ratings, to deter or segment the public?
    My intention is to have a popularist take on art, not unlike the art reviews given in ‘Time Out’ London, to promote seeing art works, even if it meant visiting an art exhibition just to prove the reviewer wrong!

    I’m reviewing the rating system at the end of the year, and your comments are just, and will be taken into consideration. Cheers to Singapore Art!

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