The poem Stages by Herman Hesse has put into words what this series of paintings tried to address in Chinese ink.
As every flower fades and as all youth
Departs, so life at every stage,
So every virtue, so our grasp of truth,
Blooms in its day and may not last forever.
Since life may summon us at every age
Be ready, heart, for parting, new endeavor,
Be ready bravely and without remorse
To find new light that old ties cannot give.
In all beginnings dwells a magic force
For guarding us and helping us to live.
Serenely let us move to distant places
And let no sentiments of home detain us.
The Cosmic Spirit seeks not to restrain us
But lifts us stage by stage to wider spaces.
If we accept a home of our own making,
Familiar habit makes for indolence.
We must prepare for parting and leave-taking
Or else remain the slave of permanence.
Even the hour of our death may send
Us speeding on to fresh and newer spaces,
And life may summon us to newer races.
So be it, heart: bid farewell without end.
The series was conceived first in 2013 with the depiction of Singapore landscape in multi colour in reference to the description of Singapore as a ‘vibrant city’ (Mr Goh CT ,1999). The use of different colours then enabled high key contrast, resulting in a flattened pictorial plane reminiscent of planar diagrams such as maps. With Hesse’s urging to “prepare for parting and leave-taking” a map can serve as a guide.
For this exhibition, each painting seems to be referencing some form of structure that hovers within the pictorial plane. These can be seen not as actual structures but as a suggestion of them.
Exhibition Opening: 8 December 2016, 7-9pm
Exhibition Dates: 8 – 30 December 2016
Venue: Chan Hampe Galleries, Raffles Hotel Arcade, #01-21, 328 North Bridge Road, Singapore 188719
When: 8 - 30 Dec 2016,