12.07 // 22.07 2018
As organisers we are thrilled to have the opportunity to work closely with Wong Keen and bring this concept to fruition. As art collectors, it has been deeply rewarding and fulfilling to spend intimate moments in his studio, studying his works, watching him paint. We are collectors of his work and will continue to support him, because we are inspired by Wong’s boundless energy and self-driven determination to create dynamic pictures and larger and larger paintings, even moving out of his comfort zone to make installation. At seventy-six years, we find his commitment to painting and thirst to keep pushing boundaries to create new images incredibly refreshing.
- Ning Chong, co-founder of The Culture Story
The Meat Stall, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 215 cm x 305 cm
Jointly organised with The Culture Story, this is the first major exhibition by Wong Keen devoted exclusively to showcase one singular series, titled ‘Flesh series’, which started in 2012 during an artist residency in Caochangdi, Beijing. Over the last six years, Wong radically transformed his style, combining the painterliness of his earlier work with a fresh use of nudes, beiges and fleshy tones and sinuous lines that took these canvases into new and unexpected territories.
FLESH MATTERS at Artspace@Helutrans will present over 25 new paintings and 15 works on paper and collages, illustrating Wong’s compelling mastery and virtuosity as a painter. The series is considered one of the most accomplished in Wong’s painted oeuvre over fifty years. The accompanying exhibition catalogue includes full-colour illustrations and an essay contributed by Ms. Lee Chor Lin, former Director of the National Museum and the CEO of Arts House Limited.
The works on exhibit chart the latest development in Wong’s artistic career. Having spent over fifty years in America, his outstanding oeuvre, which encompasses oil, acrylic, ink and mixed media works, is a powerful embodiment of Chinese ink wash aesthetics and Western inventive approach towards form and colour. This dynamic approach has continued to characterise his dramatisation of flesh in form and philosophy over the last few years. His stylised images of the nude, the butcher shop and the burger across different pictorial styles and mediums reflect his commitment to continuously evolve and push the boundaries. This inventive spirit certainly sets him apart from his Singaporean contemporaries.
Official Exhibition Opening
Date: 14 July 2018 (Saturday)
Time: 12pm – 4pm
Exhibition Dates: 12 July – 22 July 2018
Time: 12pm – 7pm (except 14 July, it will close at 4pm)
Venue: Artspace @ Helutrans, 39 Keppel Road, Singapore 089065