Visually well balanced works – with a slant towards 2D and ‘free-fall’ drawings and paintings

panoramic shot of the gallery (click to view larger picture)

The title of the exhibition is entirely unpretentious and less complex than one can imagine. It is a play on words like “intransit” and “you”, suggesting shared ideas between the graduates and the viewer alike. Name-calling, is perfectly legitimate, and almost a must for any art exhibition.

I have just coined a term to describe the kind of drawing and painting that is derived from near pure drawings, where the sub-conscious images and text surface as abstract or complex codes and symbols. It might feel like ‘free-fall’ from consciousness, like a sky diver under the influence of gravity. Sometimes, the ink or paint seem to act like free-fall, willfully against logic. This would be in the style of Vincent Leow , or resemble that of Angie Seah’s works. It seems suspiciously prominent in many of the 2D works, plastered on the wall with make-shift ease and heavy dosage of doodles, and I cannot help but wonder if this is a predominant style of LaSalle diploma graduates.

Like other degree shows, it’s difficult to see the talents of many, because space and breadth of work is a constrain, with many graduates displaying only one work (or a cluster of things), hence lacking depth too . They are often developing their own styles or methodology of display, and it would be unhelpful to criticise these overtly.

I can sympathise with two works: Jacqueline’s Do you remember me? and Lim Shingen’s in transit to a void . The two works are painterly, and non-assuming, like some of the better works in the space. The former because of it’s ethereal quality that strikes the viewer to take a closer look, only to find a sensitive faint drawing on translucent fabric of a person, with breathing tubes up the nose, and noticeably in hospital pyjamas. This may be a universal image that we all dread to face, an image we rather dispel from our memories. The scale and choice of fabric deserves another investigation for a deeper, longer lasting impact on the viewer.

The latter because of it’s sheer scale, it is like a centre piece, a portal into nowhere. The colours blend too well to the white wall, and The void should perhaps resemble more of a tunnel, cloaked in nocturnal blue harmony and mystic, than the current pale background. Perhaps then it could act as a piece that could draw the viewer in from the main entrance from one room away.

The only displeasure I have with the show (and the lack of interesting sculptural or video pieces), is the rather dim lighting. Unless of course, art is illuminating enough, a case worth arguing here, and we are happy to strain our eyes to see art.


May 3 -May 10



3 responses to “INTRANSITU-asmuchforyouasitisforus

  1. Did u miss the videos in the small room? there’s this very good one by Louise. She has a few other very powerful ones. Too bad only one is shown. Also, it’s a pity that one of sima’s more powerful performances was not shown. (her work is on oppression of women in society, esp in Arab countries) It was a performance done in a dim room where she sat in an acrylic box. She had other women (her classmates) pouring sugar over her until it almost suffocated her. She literally broke out of the box because the pressure of the sugar & the emotional pressure was too great. Probably, no time to edit the documentation yet.
    I think one disadvantage of a grad show (BTW, they are diploma, 3rd year ) , is that one may not see the best work in the series of works the student made. Only by looking at a body of work, esp for dip students, one will be able to understand the work better.
    Yes, too many little drawings on the wall.
    There will be a catalogue for this show. Still printing.Maybe that will help u know some of the other works better.

  2. cool blog! i accidentally stumbled onto your blog of reviews. only got to read this entry 3 years too late. anyway, just to clarify some things, my name is Lim Shengen. Shingen is my ancestor 🙂

    I am very very happy and honored you took note of my work, especially you noted it being a portal into nowhere, how the colors blend too well into the wall. that was really the intention of how i wanted the painting to reflect. The painting allowed me to reflect this notion of void. one that doesn’t have to be heavy, gloomy nor dreadful. in fact, it is the beauty of this sense of nothingness that intrigues me to make this painting. (don’t really want to use this word but existentialism comes into play 🙂

    I am a friend of Dorothy Lye, whom i got to meet in San Francisco. She spoke about you a lot during my stay there. such a coincident that you wrote something for this showcase.

    keep in touch Kok Boon! 🙂

  3. Hilmi Mohamed

    Cool blog!!
    For a 3rd year Students to come one with a show within a short time of period is not easy. Artist takes years to discover about their work. Looking partially at the body of work, (esp for Dip students), its a stepping stone for us towards the next phrase of our learning process. The work might not look so strong during the exhibition but i think this cohort including myself have proven that there’s a potential to go further.
    I wish all the cohort all the best and be where ever you are around the world including me in Tasmania

    Hilmi Mohamed(Hilky)

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