Galerie Belvedere presents the duo exhibition “Confluence” from 29 August to 26 September 2015 at its gallery at 140 Hill Street, Old Hill Street Police Station.
The exhibition focuses on the “Colour Field” paintings by Raymond Yap, and photography by Lau Eng Seng. It explores the unique relationship between Yap (b. 1966) and Lau (b. 1988), between teacher and student, mentor and mentee, mature and youthful exuberance, painter and photographer, resulting in coherence and confluence created from these disparate channels.
Confluence is part of the creative process. Every artist is a conduit for ideas and experiences from diverse sources. Their unique interactions are the source of originality. When two artists share a space, there is symbiosis. The inter-relationships between the works create a special confluence.
Raymond Yap is an outstanding Lecturer in Fine Art at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. Trained as a painter in Britain, Yap obtained his BA Honours in Fine Art (Painting) from the School of Fine Art, Wimbledon College of Art, where he won the Drawing Prize (Highly Commended). He later was a Lecturer at this School of Fine Art from 2001-2007. Yap holds a Master of Arts in Painting from the prestigious Royal Academy Schools, London. There he was the recipient of the Seline Cheneviere Fellowship, a Major Award in Painting.
Yap prepares the surface before pouring gloss paint onto it. He then uses a Chinese drawing brush to draw images using turpentine, thereby creating a form of writing or mark-making which is unreadable. As a minimalist artist, he uses only two colours to create space and optical illusion. The paintings appear to float on the surface.
Representational forms are absent or discarded. Colour Field paintings are recognised by fields of solid colours which appear flat. Some artists in this category use two or more colours.
The main focus is on colour which becomes the subject itself. The focus is also on the viewer being drawn to what lies beyond the artist’s control, such as the play of light and shadows on the surface of the painting. This stylistic audacity makes contemporary realism out-of-date. In fact, American composer John Cage’s 4’33” (Four minutes, thirty-three seconds) composition focuses on silence and the audience. Cage was influenced by Zen Buddhism and the White (Colour Field) paintings by Robert Rauschenberg.
In this collection of paintings, Yap has included Colour Field paintings which are round or circular, which – like the globe – have no beginning or end. The round shape known as ‘tondo’ has been used for centuries in Western paintings and architecture.
Renowned Colour Field artists include Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko, Kazimir Malevich, Sam Francis, Frank Stella, Robert Motherwell, Piet Mondrian, Joan Miro, and Henri Matisse.
Lau Eng Seng graduated with a Diploma in Fine Art from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 2012. Lau was a mentee of Raymond Yap who has made a positive impact on his art practice since 2011. His practice is driven by a research-based methodology and the resulting findings are presented through his photographs. Lau’s works have been actively exhibited in Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines, and he has won acclaims from the prestigious International Photography Award in 2013 by the Lucie Foundation, USA. In 2015, Lau has been listed as one of the 62 artists in the publication, “Singapore Eye: Contemporary Singapore Art”, a comprehensive survey of contemporary art in Singapore.
Lau has a keen interest in Singapore’s multi-racial culture and heritage and aspires to capture the Singapore identity. His primary objective is to (re)search and to (re)discover the national identity through inquiry means of anthropology and sociology. This has led him into engaging subjects as diverse as the history of the nation through the beauty of architecture, the elegance of culture, and the mysteries of sociology.
Each project consists of multiple works and researches, often in a range of different media. He believes in the view that insights into future possibilities arise from a journey into the past, seeking to liberate ancestral memories from historical erasure, in a search not for the end of culture and heritage, but for the chance to begin again.
Lau’s photographs are a reflective journey of Singapore, particularly poignant on our 50th Anniversary as a Nation.
Text by Rasina Rubin, Director, Galerie Belvedere
Dates: 29 August – 26 September 2015
Venue: Galerie Belvedere
Address: 140 Hill Street #01-10/11/12, Old Hill Street Police Station