The Orbits of Colour features 20 recent artworks by US-trained artist Wong Keen. Extending across mediums like rice paper, archive paper, collage and canvas, the preoccupation with form and gesture – a consistent feature in Wong Keen’s oeuvre – remains a guiding principle in these expansive compositions built on intercalated colour zones and dynamic momentum of brushwork. With its abundance of colours and audacious use of acrylic paint; and quite often, collage and monoprint techniques, Wong Keen’s work renews the formalistic conventions of Chinese ink painting and pushes the fluid, evocative gesture of brushwork to its limit. This latest series reflects his decades of immersion in Colour-field painting and innovative Chinese ink wash aesthetics, with the largest painting on showcase spanning 3m in length.
Born in Singapore in 1942, Wong Keen’s prodigious talent in painting was evident in childhood. As a young boy, he learnt drawing and painting under pioneer artists Liu Kang and Chen Wen Hsi (who were also his family friends and teachers at Chinese High School). Wong Keen held his first solo exhibition at the then National Library of Singapore at age 19 and moved to America after being accepted by the prestigious Art Students League of New York. When Wong Keen departed in 1961, he was the first Singaporean to pursue art studies in New York and the first Asian and Singaporean to have won the Edward G. McDowell Travelling Scholarship (1965) in the history of Art Students League.
Having lived and worked in America for over fifty years, Wong Keen’s artistic style is an embodiment of cross-cultural confluences: inspired by the elegance and expressiveness of Chinese ink painting and calligraphy, as well as Abstract Expressionism. In 2007, the Singapore Art Museum celebrated his masterful repertoire with a solo exhibition. In addition to private patronage from around the world, his works are also collected by the Singapore Art Museum, The National Museum of China, Resorts World Sentosa and The Fullerton Hotel.
Exhibition Period: 30 July – 17 August 2016
Time: 12 – 7 pm (daily)
Venue: artcommune gallery, 231 Bain Street, Bras Basah Complex, #03-39 Singapore 180231
When: 30 Jul - 17 Aug 2016,