Cuturi Gallery is delighted to present Silence Drowns the Scream, an exhibition of new works by Singapore-based artist Aisha Rosli (b. 1997, Singapore), her second with the gallery. Teasing elements of the autobiographical and the figmental, Rosli shifts between the positions of the tacit subject and observer, giving form to an intimate exploration into the complex and weighted charge of the human psyche.
As suggested from the title of the exhibition, Silence Drowns the Scream becomes adage to Rosli’s figurative paintings, where her figures appear to be musing on their innermost thoughts, muffling the noise of their apparent realities. Primarily working with acrylic and oil, Rosli’s tendencies to layer and glaze her paintings comprise multiple iterations of concealing and revealing. Here, the figures, whose skin are emblemed by cool tones of blue, emanate both a sense of openness and vulnerability susceptible to touch, while appearing to be removed from their environments entirely. Such constant negotiation between the ‘internal’ and the ‘external’ within Rosli’s paintings extends to the viewer, who is now unintentionally implicated into the very position of the seemingly distant observer that the figures or Rosli herself once occupied.
Whirl Away (2023) is a self-portrait of Rosli with a dishevelled head of hair propped on a pillow and turned to the side, looking absent-mindedly into the distance. Drawing the viewer in with her unfocused gaze, Rosli’s self-portrait is anchored by the horizontal planes of its composition, sandwiched between layers of recognisable stylised patterns of florals, stripes and check; of which, these motifs continue to be an important device for Rosli to anchor the uncanny in and around her representations. Such horizontal stacking within the painting’s composition seemingly elongates the canvas, contributing an enigmatic quality that leaves the viewer wondering where the beginning and the end is, mimicking the endless void that Rosli’s self-portrait appears to reside in.
Existing on the fringes of realities, For the First Time in My Life I Can See (2023) sees Rosli portraying a figure of her likeness taking comfort in the familiar presence of her partner. Stretched out on a couch, the figure is nestled against her partner, peering into a book he is reading. It is unambiguous to the viewer if she is actually physically present with her partner at that very moment, perhaps alluding to a latent state of existence that Rosli continues to interrogate throughout this body of work. Again, the figures are enveloped in layers of patterned motifs albeit punctured by a slither of deep monochromatic blue, as though an attempt to inject a semblance of reality of sorts.
Accompanying the paintings are a series of drawings that Rosli developed in tandem for the exhibition. Here, the figures depicted in the drawings take on more ambiguous forms, with several featuring close-up studies of their expressions. Tightly framed, they lend a cinematic quality that again positions the viewer as outside looking in.
Through Silence Drowns the Scream, Rosli extends an invitation to traverse our inner worlds, towards discovering our proximity and distance within ourselves and to one another.
Born in Singapore in 1997, Aisha Rosli graduated from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) with a Diploma in Fine Art (Western Painting) in 2018. She has had successful solo and duo shows at Cuturi Gallery and had featured in several group exhibitions including OH! Open House in Singapore, Galerie LJ in Paris, Unit London in the UK, At The Table Group Show hosted by Christie’s and Harpers Gallery in New York, and most recently, ART SG in Singapore.
Venue: Cuturi Gallery, 61 Aliwal Street, Singapore
When: 4 - 26 Mar 2023, 12pm - 6pm
By: Cuturi Gallery