artcommune gallery is pleased to present Still Lifes by Tan Choh Tee, which features over 25 oil works by the 2nd-generation master dating from the 1990s to the present, with a particular focus on a new series of still lifes completed in the period of 2019-2020. Though best known for his plein air oil paintings of Singapore and Malaysian street scenes, Southeast Asian villages and Chinese water towns, still life paintings have featured prominently in Choh Tee’s practice since the 1990s. This is the first exhibition dedicated entirely to the artist’s still life work and provides a broad survey of his distinctive treatment of this classical theme.
Recognisable for his brushwork and delicate colour movement, Choh Tee’s mastery of still life has undoubtedly born into a style of his own. Often, the paintings feature a flat plane with objects characterised by bold, compelling forms and colours. Also noteworthy is his deft, expressive use of the palette knife in recent years, which elevates his expression with spontaneous gestures reminiscent of Chinese ink painting. In addition to antique vessels (from his personal collection) and effervescent flowers, he orchestrates commonplace objects and natural foods as vital actors in this new series, revealing his appreciation for the beauty and simplicity of everyday life. The familiar fruits of Southeast Asia – bananas, rambutans, mangosteens, durians – are treated with such dynamic and lively quality that we are inspired to examine their forms and essence with new understanding and fresh eyes. Likewise, vegetables and spices like cabbages, corns, bell peppers and garlics transcend their everyday mundanity and perishable status, and are accorded a monumentality that reminds us to enjoy the wondrous yet purposeful forms evolved from nature.
Venue: artcommune gallery, 76 Bras Basah Road, #01-01 Carlton Hotel, Singapore 189558
When: 10 - 25 Oct 2020, 12noon - 7pm daily