Featuring 15 stunning new works from New York-trained artist Wong Keen’s latest series of collage-paintings, Flesh on Loop is an extension of the artist’s provocative discourse on man’s ubiquitous consumption of flesh. For instance, Man’s endless loop of desiring and gratification drives the commodification of flesh in the form of meat industry and prostitution, perpetuating in the process a cyclical system of violence and complicity.
Working in a unique collage mode that fluidly integrates Chinese ink-wash with Western painting techniques, Wong Keen injects wry humour into the recognisable form of the burger – a familiar icon of modern consumption. The reflection of human flesh as synonymous with raw or cooked meat sandwiched between burger buns underlines the unsavoury reality beneath beguilingly enchanting human pleasures.
Wong Keen (b. 1942, Singapore) grew up in a Chinese literati environment and was an acclaimed teenage painter in the early Singapore art scene before leaving at 19 to study at the prestigious Art Students League of New York. He was the first Singaporean and among the earliest of Chinese artists to venture into the flourished post-war American art scene – then the most avant-garde art center in the world.
Having spent over 50 years in America, Wong Keen’s outstanding oeuvre, which encompasses oil, ink, acrylic and collage since the 1960s to the present, is a powerful embodiment of the elegant expressivity of Chinese ink wash aesthetics and the Western inventive approach toward form and colour. From series to series, whether venturing anew or revisiting familiar techniques and imagery, his relentless pursuit of compositional innovation – together with the enigmatic quality of his language – has given rise to a unique body of work that defies traditions and categorisation. In 2007, the Singapore Art Museum celebrated Wong Keen’s masterful repertoire with a solo exhibition. Wong Keen’s work is held in a number of private and public collections, including The National Museum of China, Minnesota State University Art Museum, Albright Knox Art Gallery, New York, Singapore Art Museum, Resorts World Sentosa and The Fullerton Hotel.
Venue: artcommune gallery, 231 Bain Street, Bras Basah Complex #03-39, Singapore 180231
When: 13 - 28 Jan 2018, 12noon - 7pm