Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Space to me is the familiar three-dimensional region or field of everyday experience which can get visually mundane or routine like and at times disorients one.

I have the tendency of spacing out within an enclosed area that I am constantly exposed to and then getting fixated on an area till it becomes fuzzy in my mind. It is an experience that I relate to as writing a word repeatedly and then discovering for a second when I stop that I have lost the meaning of it. When this occurs, I seize the moment to rummage in my bag of imagination and begin transforming this banal spot into a possible playground.

The work in this series evolved from a current body of oil on canvases that is an exploration of the relationship between a female figure and the space that she is in. The highlight of each illustration is the influence of a particular animal or insect which is abstractly manipulated to incorporate into a specific area of the space that the character is in. Black Knitter, Yellow Honey and Pink Masquerade was recently showcased at the Affordable Art Fair Singapore 2011.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Boys who like boys who like girls who like girls

Aiman and myself have been preparing for this collaborative art exhibition since last year, and the show is finally opening this Thursday at Utterly Art. Totally excited!

Utterly Art presents Boys Who Like Boys Who Like Girls Who Like Girls.

The exhibition showcases the latest work of local artist Aiman and Los Angeles-based artist Jolene Lai, in a series of stunning visual dialogues.

The title for the exhibition itself is derived from the fact that each of the artists narrates their practices through the use of male and female figures, respectively. Their distinct styles are highlighted in this impassioned series of artworks, in which their unique but overlapping perspectives on the world and one's relationship to it begins a dialogue that invites the viewer to join the conversation.

Aiman’s series of works questions the very idea of social facades in human interactions, sensing the incongruency between exhibited social facades and real thoughts. He uses toys in his works for the same reason: to create a semblance of fantasy for the purpose of making reality more palatable. His series of works also expands on the theory of symbolic interactionism; a sociological perspective that places emphasis on the interpretative analysis of social relations.

Jolene’s series of artworks captures fleeting moments. She highlights each piece of work with locations or environments that she has sourced from her various expeditions or travels in the United States. Jolene‘s depictions of female characters in her works seem locked in time, conscious only of their own trains of thought and impervious to the goings-on of the outside world.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

No.25 Series I-VI

No.25 Series I-VI | Mixed media on watercolor paper | 8.5 by 5.5 in 

The room is dark, the air musky. She stands by the window, picks up a cigarette and lights it. For a few seconds, the empty walls of the room is licked with the sudden wavering dances from the flame. And then nothing. She inhales the smoke deeply, looks out into the gulf of darkness and tries to make out the silhouettes of the trees and apartment buildings made prominent from several street lights. There is a sudden flickering of light from the opposite window. Her heart skips a beat. Instantly she chucks her right hand behind the curtains of her window and watches as the fluorescent ceiling lights come to life. It’s Mr Zhang, a client who visits her every now and then for suit alterations. She cannot recall the last time he has visited but she remembers his strong broad shoulders and the faint smell of nicotine in his hair as she takes his measurements. She takes one last deep puff and feels the burning down her throat as she draws the curtains shut. Switching on the lamp by the dressing table, she carefully caresses the collection of mannequin hands lying on the dresser with her fingertips; like how any pianist would fondly touch the keys of a piano. She reaches the ‘last note’ and decides on no.25, elegantly curved with red painted nails. The rubber vinyl-like hand meets her left fingers and then snaps tightly onto her right wrist. It almost makes her imperfection non existent. The room is dim, the air stale. She lies on the bed, draws her left fingers to her nose and inhales. For a moment, she thinks about his broad shoulders and reenacts the smell of the faint nicotine in his hair. But then all is forgotten as no.25 ascends.

No.25 is a body of illustrative works based on Wong Kar-Wai's short film The Hand. The illustrations correlates to a specific chosen dialogue from the film, emphasizes on the key characters from the film, but adds a different take on the original story.

Movie still from The Hand

Selected dialogue from The Hand
Hua: And do you remember my hand?
Zhang: Yes I do.
Hua: You must have hated me that day.
Zhang: No I didn’t. I want to thank you. If it hadn't been for your hand, I wouldn't have become a tailor.
Hua: Forget about me. Go love some other woman and be good to her. Come closer. You have always been so good to me and I have never repaid you. I am afraid I won’t have the chance. I have lost everything. I used to have this body, but it is no good anymore. All that is left of it is this pair of hands. You don’t mind do you?

The Hand - Movie Synopsis:

Stars Gong Li (Miss Hua) as a 1960s high-end call girl in an impossible love affair with her tailor Zhang (Chang Chen). At their first meeting, she immediately worms her way into his consciousness with her forceful, erotically charged presence, plus a particular favor she proffers via her extraordinarily skilled right hand. The reason for her charity: Zhang is a talented tailor who has yet to know a woman’s touch. If he’s going to be servicing woman with his skills, he better be okay with touching them. It’s questionable if Hua’s sexual schooling makes Zhang a better tailor, but from then on he’s hooked - by her. The years pass, Hua’s clients change, and all the while Zhang longs for Hua’s touch once more. When he has time, he makes her clothes.

With The Hand, Wong Kar-Wai seems to be heading towards repressed longing in intimate, confined spaces. Wong Kar-Wai constructs a simple story with moments of truly gorgeous emotion, delivering on the promise of eroticism in a reserved, but astoundingly effective way. Intimate physical contact is given almost palpable erotic charge; at one point, Zhang measures Hua’s body with his hands instead of a measuring tape, and the years of desperate longing between the characters practically bleeds from the screen. The actual (fully-clothed) sex in the film might seem a bit too lurid for some, but Wong manages to make it affecting in its utter sadness. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Taiwan illustrator Jimmy Liao is probably the first ever artist that taught me how to illustrate. I was first introduced to his picture books by a classmate while studying at Lasalle, fell in love with his illustrating style and made it a point to collect any new books by him whenever I visited a bookstore.

There's something simplistic about the way the art is rendered and the story behind each character often whimsical and unique. His literary and illustration hits me at most times with nostalgic sadness. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Fluttering Hearts

Fluttering Hearts | Ink on brown paper

So 2010 went away and I am left pondering about what the new year would bring. So far, it's been uninspiring, stagnant and a whirlpool of uncertainties. Currently life is a mess and no matter how hard I try to keep my mind focused, it slips or quickly gets swayed by waves of interrupting train of thoughts that are inconclusive and inconsistent.

I find myself repeating daily acts as if I am left programmed that way. Attempts at questioning myself purposes and motives just led me back to more pondering and confusion. 

At the end of the day, I find myself wanting to just sit and daze and not think. To be void of all emotions.